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esteem it their duty to invite and encourage all who are in need to come and take of the bread of life freely. They are furnished with innumerable arguments for the correct performance of this service. But they know, that the ear of faith may catch the word of invitation, —and it may not sink down into the heart. The eye of faith may be directed to the abundant supply, and yet not see provided that which in all points suits the soul's wants. The hand of faith may be put forth to get possession of the desired refreshment, and through weakness lose its hold of the expected blessing. They are well assured that, with the invitation given, the master of the feast must conduct the guests to the board—seat them beside the food most convenient for them—and satisfy their wants by himself communicating the needed portion. The expostulation must be accompanied by the energy of divine attraction, or the urgent claims of the soul will remain unsatisfied,—that hunger will issue in final starvation, and that thirst will be eternally unquenched!
When the soul is made to feed on Christ the bread of life, then, indeed, it learns of a truth the cause of lamentation and woe it has long and severely experienced; and assuredly knows and rejoices in the large supply of which he now freely shares. And it matters not by what means the happy partaker has come to the feast; whether by the gospel call through the preaching of the word, by reading the volume of inspiration, by secret communication of divine grace and strength in answer to earnest prayer, or by whatever other medium; the work is the Lord's—the bountiful provision is the Lord's—and to the Lord belongs all the praise and all the glory. "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry with goodness." "All our fathers did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ."
(For the Spiritual Magazine. J
NOTICE OF "ARCHER'S COMFORT FOR BELIEVERS," AND ITS REVIEWERS.
"HOLINESS TO THE LORD."
I Have read with amazement, horror, and detestation, the several quotations from Archer's blasphemous book, as inserted in your Magazine for this month. In 1822 this vile production was reprinted, and in September of that year, was reviewed with " unqualified approbation," by a certain, so called, "gospel" editor, who stiled it, " a valuable little book, containing the old wine of the kingdom, and a precious antidote in the day of trouble."
I considered with myself, I will send for this book; I am very fond of 'old wine,' and 'a precious antidote for the day of trouble' must be a most desirable acquisition. But lo! before I put my design into execution, I happened one evening, to be reading in my favourite author, Dr. Gill, his pamphlet, "The Doctrines of God's Everlasting Love to his Elect, and their Eternal Union to Christ, stated and defended," wherein the Doctor refers to this very book of Archer's, and makes three quotations therefrom, stiling the same "blasphemous, vile, and abominable." I started with surprise, saved my money, preserved my health, and was thankful for my escape: for this said Editor would have presented me with a glass of deadly poison, calling it "old wine." I wrote a letter to him, and told him that he should have reviewed the book as he had " Extracts from Helvetius, Voltaire, &c." in the same Number—
"And if a man did need a poison now,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him."
About six months afterwards out came a second review of this same book, in which, Archer, the writer thereof was styled, "a servant of Christ, a dispenser of the truth as it is in Jesus." And the Assembly of Divines, whose truly excellent " Declaration" you have inserted, these worthies were designated, "a set of men unworthy to brush the coat, or tie the shoe strings of that most excellent character /" Of course your humble servant came in for his full share of abuse.— "If blushing or trembling could ever enter the abodes of bliss, and this calumniator .should ever arrive there, he must stand abashed when he meets this Angel of light, for the undeserved reproaches he cast upon him in this lower world."
To be sure, we were treated in the course of the review with a very pretty picture, about a flower garden, and the cast of the grounds in that garden, the crossing lines, the disposition of the walks, the arrangement of the trees, the conveniency of the shades and arbours, the propriety of the statues, and the symmetry pervading the whole:—but his " grounds, walks, trees, shades, arbours, statues, and fine symmetry" were all nothing to Me. I was ruminating upon those nauseous, sickening, blasphemous, sentences:—So that we may safely say, "that God is, and hath an hand in, and is the author of the sinfulness of his people;"—that "the creature's sin doth produce the greatest good;"—that by sins believers are as much Nurtured and fitted for heaven, as by any thing else;"—and "that God fits believers for service in this world, by leading them into sins," &c. &c. &c.
Let me get away from this stench! A "flower garden .indeed!" rather a filthy jakes! It-was indifferent to me, whether the reviewer ascribed itto " rooted prejudice," or" superficialness of understanding," but I could not be duped by him to take one sip of his "old wine," for I found it to be "wine of the vine of Sodom, of the fields of Gomorrah; wine of the grapes of gall, pressed from bitter clusters." Deut. xxxii. 32.
You will oblige me, Mr. Editor, by thanking your correspondent *' Onesimus," for favouring us with a copy of the " Declaration of the Assembly of Divines;" which, but for him, myself and perhaps many of your readers might never have seen. And upon an occasion of such vital importance, in which the character of the Holy One of Israel is concerned, I think it not sufficient to affix to this: paper my usual signature in your Magazine, but rather subscribe myself,
Yaur's in the truth,
Brentford, Deo. 18, 1827. J. A.' JONES'.
(For the Spiritual Magazine. J
ADDRESSED TO A MINISTER, ST. JOHN'S.
My Dear Brother,
I Received your timely answer to my last, while I was in a most distressing state of mind. A sovereign God who worketh all things after the counsel of his will, and makes all work for the good of his chosen people, suffered the enemy of my soul's salvation to unite with the latent evils of my own heart to raise a dreadful storm in my soul. I was for some days like a city besieged by a great king, even the king of the bottomless pit, who threatened to take it by storm; but thanks to my covenant God who, after making me feel the plague of my ow» heart, magnified his Almighty power, and-said, "Peace be still."—Blessed be his holy name! he never bids me dig in the wall of theiold building, but I find a door that discovers greater and greater abominations.
(.), my brother, how precious is a Saviour whose mercy is from everlasting to everlasting to a poor hell deserving sinner!—How welcome the balm of Gilead, the oil and wine of grace, to one who is full of wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores! How refreshing is the light of life to one who has been sitting in darkness and the shadow of death!—0 how soul reviving is the" light of God's countenance, to one who has been down to the bottom of the mountain, and even in the belly of hell! My dear brother! is not the consideration attended with a joy full of divine strength, that the God who has been his people's dwelling-place in all 'generations is our God for ever,- and that he will be our guide even unto death ?—Help me to praise him.
Your-views of sin agree exactly with my sentiments on this subject. I have ever considered pride the root of all evil. Trace all the polluting streams of this poisonous riverto their source, and you will find they originate in the vain conceit, "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."—In short, what is hell, with all its horrors, but an unceasing opposition to the divine sovereignty? and what is heaven, with all its glories, but having our wills straight with the sovereign will of Jehovah! If a prelibation of the joys at God's right hand is known on earth, is it not at that happy moment when the soul can lie as clay in the hands of the Almighty potter?
Well then—good old Dr. Hawker has gone over Jordan to take possession of that goodly mountain and Lebanon, the land of peace and rest on high! Blessed be God for such a light in this our age. His works will be a valuable treasure to the church to the end of time. Truly such an apostolic character .is deserving of our very high esteem; but for what is he deserving of our affectionate regard! Is it not for that drop which he received from the fountain of all loveliness, Jesus, who led the path for his suffering followers, and whose sweet attractive influence draws them to himself? O then, is he not deserving of the best room in our hearts—the highest place in our affections—the choicest, yea, the whole of our love?
Dr. Hawker's writings have been a blessing to me. Well do I remember (and ever shall) when he invited me to go down with him to the potter's house. I humbly hope that God the Spirit caused me there to hear his words. I was reading last evening his notes on the brazen serpent—I hope I was truly edified.
I have one request to make through you to the bible society. A pious female in this neighbourhood has commenced a sabbath school, and, from some hints in their last report, I think the committee will not refuse to send me a few testaments to encourage her laudable efforts.
May the good will of him who dwells in the midst of the burning bush, (the church) walk with you in the midst of the fiery furnace, and purify you and make you white, that you may be a vessel fitted and meet for the Master's use.
Your's in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ,
Canning, June 20, 1827. DAVID PALMER
There is a strength some christians possess, which they should detest, and pray to be delivered from: it arises from pride, and is their weakness. There is a weakness which christians feel, that they should cherish and bless God for; a weakness that leans upon Christ, and is their strength. ,There is a fulness which is cursed, and an emptiness that is blessed: men bless the full, God blesses the empty; he fills them with good things, but the rich or the full he sendeth empty away.
An Exposition of the Book of Psalms. Part ike First. By the Rev. John Morison, Minister of Trevor Chapel, Brompton. Author of" Lectures on Reciprocal Obligations," Sfc. Palmer.
There is a class of dogmatists who pretend to despise every species of published note or comment on the holy scriptures, even though the theological opinions advanced may seem to quadrate with the peculiarities of their own [self-constructed creed. And it is worthy of remark that they—many of whom have adorned themselves with the sacerdotal vest—have often been detected in exhibiting the fruits of other men's learning and toil, notwithstanding their assumed independance of human aid. There are, also, intimately connected with this class of religionists, those whose conversation and pulpit addresses are so adroitly cast into the mould of their favourite authors, that it is with difficulty discovered whether they speak the sentiments of the heart, or are only amusing the hearer with the language of the idol of their adoration! By an unwarrantable use of the approved axiom, "Scripture is its own interpreter," they consider themselves justified in speaking contemptuously of the invaluable labours of the learned, the wise, and the spiritual.
But of all objections brought against so important a mean of scriptural knowledge,—this is among the most absurd. For, on the principle of the maxim referred to, whatever dogma or interpretation may be offered to our attention, we have access still and at all times to the lively oracles. "If any man speak as the oracles of God: if any man minister as of the ability which God giveth:" let us see to it "that God is glorified through Christ Jesus." Moreover, there is not a writer on the sacred volume,—having the fear of God in his heart and in exercise,—but who is taught to teach and to exhort others to receive his testimony, only so far as it is in correspondence with the perfect will of the Spirit of truth.. Multitudes of the people of God have been profited, and built up on our most holy faith, by those means in the hand of the Lord the Spirit: and we believe that many will receive a blessing from that Almighty Agent, through the instrumentality of "An Exposition of the Book of Psalms," the first part of which lies before us.
Mr. Morison informs the reader, that while he intends to overlook nothing essential to a full and critical Exposition, he is free to confess that his main object is the promotion of experimental and practical religion. Having found his own spirit refreshed, and strengthened, especially in seasons of affliction, by the study of the Psalter, he states, he has been induced to believe that others also, through his humble instrumentality, might be led to share the same benefits. We have given utterance to an anticipation that such effects will be realized;
Vol. IV.—No. 45. 2 K