« AnteriorContinuar »
from so living lest we die while we live; and, through the Spirit, daily to mortify the deeds of the body, that our new man may be renewed in spiritual life from day to day.”
“ Where there is true faith, there is the work of faith ; and where real love, there is the labour of love; and where the grace of hope is implanted, the evidence of its implantation will be a discovery of the patience of hope. And this is not all. I have not as yet, I dare not, and the Lord enabling me, I promise in his strength, that I will not, in my ministry; confine the evidences of the renewed life to the professed experience of the inward graces of the Spirit. It is indeed blessed, yea, blessed beyond all the powers of the language of man to express, to experience the grace of God wrought IN THE HEART, by the Spirit of all grace. And it is a great matter with me, when treating thereof in my feeble ministrations, to be at a point concerning the same in mine own soul; then, founded on the word, and testified of by the Spirit, from the heart of the minister the truth proceeds, and in the hearts of the people the truth obtains a place, being brought home to their souls in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. This is indeed blessed; but I again say, this is not all, this is not enough. It is all, as yet, shut up inside of thee, o man! Thou sayest thou hast faith. Very good, so far. Now shew me thy faith; but, mark me, I cannot get into thine heart to see it there; nor will I take thy word for it, that thou hast within thee that blessed inmate; but shew me thy faith by thy WORKS. If thou failest in this, let me tell thee, “O rain man, that faith without works is dead.”
The second Sermon, “ The Lord's Knocking," Rev. iii. 20. consists chiefly in describing the persons to whom the word of exhortation is addressed, cold and lukewarm churches, such as that of Laodicea, and individual professing christians in a dead and sleepy state ; and the nature of the instruction intended in the Lord's address. That it is not an exhortation to unregenerate persons, to open the door of their hearts for the admission of Christ, as maintained by many, is satisfactorily stated, and expatiated on with an earnestness and energy becoming one · holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught.' In setting forth the instruction contained in the text, it is said, the words discover, 1. Warning. 2. Hearing and meditation. 3. Alteration. 4. Communication. Each of these particulars are noticed at considerable length, and as an estimate of their worth, we make a quotation from the third, observing, that the whole is equally to be admired.
“ Also in the fourth chapter, he exhorts them to the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and of praise; as of things which they had learned and received of the apostle, and heard and seen in him; and he calls upon them to DO the same : adding, “and the peace of God shall be with you.” Phil. iv. 8, 9. I make this one remarkcould those Philippians expect to enjoy the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeping their hearts and minds (ver. 7.) through Christ Jesus ; I ask, could they expect to enjoy the same, and yet not practically be found in the things here exhorted to ? O no; in no wise ; this never can be. They then would have been walking contrary to God, and, « THEN will I also walk contrary to you,” Lev. xxvi. 24. And when the Lord is walking contrary to his own people because they have transgressed against him, and are not found in the things which he hath commanded them in his word to be found in, there then is, as it were, for a season, a partition wall
raised between him and them, and, like the city of Jericho, they become straitly shut up, so that there is no going out nor coming in between God and their souls ; the door of communication is shut, and they are not in the enjoyment of his manifestative presence; but he leaves them, saying, “ I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face;" which, after a time, they do, saying, “ Come and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." Hosea v. 15. and vi. 1, 2. The revival here spoken of, is the revival of spiritual life in the soul, the sense whereof has been lost for a season, because of having sinned against the Lord. It is not that the Lord's hand is shortened, or his ear heavy, but “your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid (MADE him hide ; margin) his face from you that he will not hear.” Isa. lix. 2.
“ Ought there not, in these things, to be an alteration think you? For this he stands at the door and knocks. Let it be marked again and again, that it is the powerful influences of his grace, which putteth in his hand by the hole of the door, and draweth back the bolt of unbelief ; it is the Lord that doeth this, whose efficacious grace is equally exerted and put forth, in the awakening of a drowsy saint, and the reclaiming of a backsliding professor, as in the first conversion of a sinner to God. But, let not this blessed doctrine of divine influence become abused; and let us not lay our miscarriages, our neglects, our omissions of duty, yea, our commissions of sin also (horrid idea !) at his door; saying, “ had i had grace from thee, in lively act and exercise, it would have been otherwise with me than it is." This were indeed to open the flood-gates to licentiousness.
These useful discourses are enlivened by a variety of interesting extracts from Brine, Gill, Cecil, Matthew Henry, Pierce, and others. We hope Mr. Jones may have the happiness of knowing that their influence extends very far beyond the circle of his own church and congregation. The title of the second Sermon is not very happily chosen,
The Vanily of Man. A Sermon preuched in East Street Chapel,
Andover, on Sunday Evening, Feb. 10, 1828; occasioned by the lamented Death of William Pittman, Jun. Esq. aged Thirty, and of Mrs. Smith, his Sister, Aged Twenty-nine, who both died on the second instant. By the Rev. John Jefferson. Palmer.
HEREIN are many pertinent remarks on the uncertainty of life, and the importance of being prepared for the last great change. The “ deeply impressive public providence," preferred the loudest claims to such contemplation. From Ps. xxxix. 5. the preacher dilates, principally, on the extreme frailty of human nature,—the fleeting character of all human distinctions,—the unsatisfying nature of all human enjoyments, and the continual uncertainty of human life. Towards the close, on the practical instruction to be derived from the afflictive dispensation, we find some remarks on the necessity of salvation through the blood and righteousness of Christ ; but the sparinghand with which the gospel seed is scattered, causes us to mourn, both for the husbandman,' and for the field' in which he labours.
* FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH THEE.”
The Great I Am hath said, “ I am with thee!”
“ Though once destroy'd by sin, and destitute,
" Ye weak and trembling babes of mine fear not,
“ Your doubts and sins a change can never make
THE CHRIST OF GOD, AND THE SAVIOUR OF HIS PEOPLE.
Lord Jesus the Saviour, the mighty God-man,
The wrath due to us was the wrath he endur'd;
Spiritual Magazine ;
* There are Three that bear record in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY GHOST: and these Three are One."
1 John v. 7. « Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
:.:.. APRIL, 1828.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.). OBSERVATIONS ON THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. - TIME, like an ever-running stream, is rapidly bearing mortals into the ocean of eternity. So few are the days of man, that mortal life is compared to a vapour, that appeareth for a little, and then vanisheth away. Yet steady time is daily unfolding the divine purposes, and bringing to the view of mortals fresh scenes, which claim our serious attention as our fleeting moments run. It becomes the christian to be attentive to the voice of his God and Father in the visible signs of the times, as well as in the volume of inspiration ;, and although we should not attempt curiously to pry into the secret counsels of heaven, yet we should attentively watch the operations of divine providence, which gradually reveals his sovereign will.
Great is the number of professors who are very active, and whose attention is called to a great variety of institutions, whose professed object is to facilitate the progress of the gospel, and to enlarge the visible kingdom of Christ on earth. Much property has been expended towards accomplishing this object, and much enterprizing zeal has been and still is displayed, while doubtless some good has been the result. I love to see an holy zeal for the promulgation of the gospel of our Lord, in the use of all scriptural means, believing, ás 1 do, that he works by the use of those means which he has sovereignly ordained, to accomplish his own purposes of grace. But I have reason to believe that this is not kept in view as it ought to be, while the professing world is thus-in action. Much is attributed
Yol. IV.-No, 48. . 2 U
to man, which only God can and doth effect; and the instrument too frequently receives the praise which is only due to the agent. Various are the motives from which mankind are found acting; it is well when human efforts are made with a single eye to God's glory, while self-applause, self-seeking, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness are cast into the back ground, and divine sovereignty alone is exalted. All human systems are defective, and every society, however commendable its object, has shades which more or less becloud the beauty of its design. I would be far from indulging an uncharitable spirit, by attaching blame to those whose sincere desire is to do good; but sure I am, the great principles of the gospel of Christ are not sufficiently kept in view, nor properly regarded as the only basis of christian exertion. Nothing can be more certain than the accomplishment of scripture prophecy, and it is equally certain that it will be accomplished by the use of means; but still it does not follow that all means employed are approved of God.
Our glorious Immanuel to whom the Father gave the heathen, received them with all the chosen seed of Abraham as his inheritance, even the one heritage in whom he delights. (Ps. ii. 8. Mic. vii. 18. Isaiah lxii. 2-4.) As his heritage they are the objects of eternal choice, redeemed by the price of his precious blood, and equally interested in the love of the Spirit. Jehovah thus being engaged by covenant for their salvation, has ordained most certainly the means by which, and the time and way in which he will reveal that salvation 10 their hearts, in their effectual calling and conversion to himself. Notwithstanding all that has been done by missionary exertions, &c. it doth not appear that ancient prophecy, relative to the universal spread of the gospel, is so near its accomplishment as many good-meaning people think it is. Many, indeed, are running to and fro, and external knowledge is increasing: 'some have glad tidings to publish as commissioned of God, while others, like Ahimaaz, will run, whether they have tidings or not!
The time is not yet come which David predicted, saying, “ The Lord gave the word : great was the company (or army) of those that published it. Kings of armies did flee apace, and she that tarried at home divided the spoi).” (Psalm Ixviii. 11, 12.) Should it be asked, what is the word which the Lord is said to give ? I answer, I believe it to be the written word, or volume of inspired truth, and with it a vast number of faithful gospel ministers, who shall fearlessly go forth and demolish the strong holds of sin and satan. Not only shall the branches of antichrist be broken off, but the axe will be laid to the root. False doctrine in all its various forms will be detected and exposed; all its lurking places searched out, and every fair-looking disguise torn off. The flimsy religion of the formalist shall not then pass for the religion of Christ, nor mere morality be substituted for practical godliness, as it is too much the case in this day of great profession. Then shall the doctrines of sovereign, discriminating grace be sincerely loved, consistently maintained, and openly exemplified.