Imágenes de páginas

by purpose, by oath, by covenant, by blood, they may well adopt the language of the Psalmist, " thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage." Thus their spirits often rise by faith, in prayer and praise, holding converse with their Lord who has bought their freedom from condemnation and slavery, and who ultimately will give them in full possession all the glories and royalties of this city, which grace has sovereignly bestowed; all which are implied in the passage before referred to, "your names are written in heaven." This should teach the Lord's family who are but strangers and pilgrims on earth, the poverty and vanity of all earthly things: their heavenly Father has not given them their portion here in earthly possessions, but hereafter in heavenly possessions. The greatness and splendour of a Babylon, and other cities of renown, have long ago been buried in oblivion ; and those who have sought to find substantial happiness in them have been miserably disappointed. But the New Jerusalem is founded by the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, whose all-sufficiency makes the bliss of its inhabitants complete, and whose throne shall stand unmoved when all the kingdoms, states, and cities of this lower world, shall be overthrown, and not a wreck remain. Yes, then the saints of the Most High shall take this kingdom, and reign in this city, in the purest friendship, the strongest union, the sweetest harmony, and highest felicity, fcir ever, even for ever and ever.

Come, then, ye travellers to this city, "gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you, at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Then shall your sandals be put off, your staff laid by, and your wilderness lanterns" (Psalm cxix. 105.) of gospel ordinances be needed no more. Your path may, indeed, be a throny maze, like Israel's passage through the wilderness, but the pillar of God's presence shall guide you safely through; for he hath said, " I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Heb. xiii. 5.) Do you meet with trials, persecutions, darkness, and temptations? as sanctified of God you are taught thereby, that this is not your rest, and you are caused to long more ardent for home. The city you are seeking is already yours; your kindred who are gone there, will soon welcome your arrival. Angels are attending you on your journey, and will be your convoy over Jordan's flood, through the ethereal region, and up to Jesu's throne, the moment he gives command, saying, " Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, thy wintry journey is past, the (storm and) rain is over and gone, the flowers of this celestial paradise are all in bloom for thy arrival." Thy former days of sorrow shall now be forgotten, or only remembered to heighten thy felicity.

This is the prospect set before every one who is truly seeking the city which is to come. Oh! for stronger faith to believe it, and to enjoy the blessed assurance of it.


Vol. IV.—No. 48. 2 Z


Hephzibah: or Jehovah's Infinite Delight in his Church, plainly Slated, and Clearly Demonstrated, from, the Lively Oracles and Infallible Standard of Truth. Part II. By Henry Heap, Minister of Bury Street Chapel, St. Mary Axe. Palmer.

The first part of this work was noticed on page 377, vol. 1. of. the Spiritual Magazine; and, among other remarks suggested by its perusal, we took occasion to spenk warmly in praise of the author, and the valuable undertaking he had commenced. On the appearance of the second and concluding part, our opinion of the writer is strengthened, and we have an inducement offered to review the subject more at large. The arrangement of chapters in continuation, the titles of some of which we are obliged to abridge, is as follows.

The time of love—The distinguishing favours the Lord confers on sinners, when returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, are unequivocal demonstrations of his good pleasure—The intimate communion the Lord condescends to hold with his people, declares them to be those in whom he delights—The relations subsisting between Christ and his people, prove them to be the objects of his special regard—Jehovah the Husband of his church—The endearing names by which Jehovah calls his people, are additional proofs of his sovereign good pleasure.

To a great extent our author enlarges on the parable of the Prodigal Son, and is particularly excellent in his illustration of the nature and application of the righteousness of Christ, as intended in the command of the Father, "bring forth the best robe and put it on him!" It affords us the means of quoting an admirable passage in corroboration of our oft-expressed sentiments on ' the indwelling Godhead,'— a scheme so unscripturally handled, and so much mystified of late.

"I. It is the best robe; for none are arrayed in it but the sons of God, the heirs of salvation, and the favourites of heavsn. The felicity possessed by believers, by virtue of this righteousness, is as firm as the inviolable oath of the Eternal I AM. And their right to the unfading inheritance reserved in heaven, as indisputable as the heirship of Christ, and the glorification of the Son of God. "We are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory." The integrity of innocent Adam was good; the obedience of angels is better, being creatures of a higher order; but the obedience of Christ is emphatically the best. The borrowed rays of their garments have no glory, by reason of that infinite blaze of glory which excelleth; for the spotless and perfect robe of the Lord Jesus is underived, independent, abiding, and immutable.

"2. This white raiment in which repentant sinners are clothed, is called "the righteousness of God; the righteousness of Christ; the righteousness of faith; and the righteousness of the saints." It is not the essential righteousness of God the Father, of which we read in many places of scripture, expressive of ths infinite holiness of his nature, and clearly displayed in the exercise of his power, justice, faithfulness, and truth, in the government of the world, in the subjoined passages of holy writ may be seen fully developed, the purity of his nature, the equity of his government, his wisdom and faithfulness in the certain accomplishment of his word, both in a way of promise to his people, and threatening to the wicked. "For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness." "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness." "O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee." "For thou art glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders." "Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." "Thy righteousnesa is like the great mountains." "Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne."

"The righteousness in which a sinner stands justified, is distinct from this, for the infinite holiness and immortality of God are incommunicable, being attributes peculiar only to the essence of Jehovah. "Thou only art holy." Rev. xv. 4. "Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto." 1 Tim. vi. 1G. It is the mediatorial righteousness of Christ, consisting of his active and passive obedience to the law, in the character of a Surety for the whole election of grace. This work is placed to the account of believers, and made theirs, according to the strict claims of justice, and is designated the righteousness of faith ; for faith receives it, and adorns the soul with the wedding gannent, the righteousness of the 3aints. It is with marked energy styled the righteousness of God, for he who hath wrought it out, and brought it in, is God as well as man. The Great Shepherd judicially smitten for the sheep, by the two.edged sword of punitive justice, was God'3 fellow or equal, as well as the man. In this exalted character the church confides ; in Him is all her salvation. "This is the name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness!" She knew well that no obedience would fully satisfy the demands of the law but that which is divine, and no other righteousness will bear the penetrating eye of Omniscience, but that which is absolutely perfect. Every true citizen of Ziou, in the great and momentous concern of his justification before God, will despise all other coverings, however pleasing and honourable among men, and trample t;heni under his feet as the mire and clay of human inventions, which must shortly crumble to dust. He can at all times with heart and hand cheerfully subr scribe to the unqualified affirmation of St. Paul: "Yea doubtless, and 1 count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all thmgs, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God, by faith."

The treatise is carried on from chapter to chapter with great and encreasing interest, and is interspersed with a variety of historical allusions, and pertinent quotations from eminent divines. There are passages from Dr. Owen and Abraham Booth on the pardon of sin, whose effect we should fear to lessen by any commendatory remarks.

"The great Dr. Owen, upon this gospel theme, writes like one who deeply experienced, extensively knew, and sweetly enjoyed thi3 inestimable privilege. Hear his profound, animating, and rarely, if ever equalled description: —"The forgiveness that is with God is such as becomes him; such as is suitable to his greatness, goodness, and all other excellencies of his nature; such as that therein he will be known to be God. What he says concerning some of the works of his providence, Be still, and know that 1 am God, may be much more said concerning this great effect of his grace; Still yourselves, and know that he is God. It is not like that narrow, difficult, halving, and manacled forgiveness that is found amongst men; (when any such thing is found amongst them;) but it is full, free, bottomless, boundless, absolute; such as becomes his nature and excellencies. It is, in a word, forgiveness that is with God, and by the exercise of which he will be known to to be. If there be any pardon with God, it is such as becomes him to give. When he pardons, he will abundantly pardon. Go with your half forgiveness, conditional pardon, with reserves and limitations, unto the sons of men. It may be, it may become them ; it is like themselves. That of God is absolute and perfect; before which, our sins are as a cloud before the east wind and the rising sun. Hence he is said to do this work with his whole heart, and with his whole soul: freely, bountifully, largely to indulge and to forgive unto us our sins, and to cast them into the bottom of the sea. Remember this, poor souls, when you are to deal with God in this matter." Again:—"If we let go the free pardon of sin, without respect unto any thing in those that receive it, we renounce the gospel. Pardon of sin is not merited by antecedent duties, but is the strongest obligation to future duties. He that will not receive pardon, unless he can one way or other deserve it, or make himself meet for it; or pretend to have received it, and finds not himself obliged to universal obedience by it, neither is nor shall be partaker of it." The truly excellent Abraham Booth, in his masterly work entitled, ' the Reign of Grace,' in allusion to the above citation, makes the following judicious and pointed remarks, which I pray God may be powerfully impressed upon my mind, and the hearts of all who profess to be ministers of Christ:— " Here it may be observed that this eminent writer loudly proclaims the charming truth. He no more feared this doctrine leading to licentiousness, than he valued the applause of the self-sufficient pharisee, or the self-righteous moralist. He treats about a full, free, and final forgiveness, like one who knew its real value, experiences its unutterable sweetness, and glorie3 in it as his own privilege. He labours his noble subject, and repeats the joyful truth; whereas, many of our modern preachers, who pretend to reverence the Doctor's memory, admire hi3 profound learning, and in a general way applaud his judgment, when handling the same subject, either directly contradict him, or whisper the grand truth in faint accents, as if they questioned the certainty of what they would seem to affirm, or were apprehensive of some pernicious consequences attending it."

Our author, when treating of the holy effects of participation in the holiness of Christ, gives a high and deserved eulogium on the ministry, writings, and character, of our deceased patron and friend, the late Dr. Hawker, which, though it appears in the shape of note, we must considerably contract.

"I well remember what that truly excellent servant of Jesus Christ, the late Dr. Hawker, once said to me when I visited him a few years since, in the West of England. "My friend Heap, there are many, very many, holy talkers, but few holy walkers." This remark will be found not only applicable to numbers who profess to believe the high and sublime doctrines of grace, and yet live in the spirit and practice of an ungodly world; but likewise to thousands who make a fair shew in the flesh, and are pure in their own eyes, and who represent the Doctor's writings as fraught with a moral contagion, which, like a walking pestilence, spreads desolation and deadly error amongst all classes of people that read them. I desire to be rightly understood, it being far from my design, to take upon myself to justify every expression of any human author, whatever may be their reputation forundeviating integrity, profound learning, extensive usefulness, and great popularity. In deciding upon things of infinite importance, the only authority I acknowledge is that which is divine. I have not hitherto, and through grace I never will, call any person lord and master, but Him that made the world and redeemed the church. My reason is obvious; there is no work that possesses the attribute of perfection, except " the volume of the book," the word of God. To this infallible standard of truth, I willingly submit, and were an angel from heaven to preach another gospel than what is there revealed, I would say with St. Paul, "Let him be accursed." Gal. i. 9. Yet I feel impelled, in the face of a formidable opposition, to bear my feeble (though not the less warm and sincere) testimony in reference to the Works of Dr. Hawker; and I will venture to predict, that taking them as a grand whole, they are now read with spiritual edification, by the orthodox of every denomination, and to the special comfort of broken-hearted sinners; and by the providence of God, they will be handed down to succeeding posterity as a choice cabinet of invaluable jewels, which, through the efficacious influence of the Lord the Spirit, will be rendered the means of enriching thousands to life eternal. The scurrilous pamphlets, and puny essays, in which the character and ministry of this valiant man of God have been maligned and loaded with reproach; many parts of his writings misrepresented, in garbled statements and erroneous quotations;—these vehicles of calumny and falsehood—will be consigned to the lumber of the garret, and the names of their scribbling authors written upon the sand and utterly forgot! But "the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." "The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot." "For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out."

"After a long period of indefatigable labour, ardent and intrepid zeal in the cause of Christ, such as rarely fall to the lot of 3inful mortals, he was enabled with holy and unshaken confidence to breathe his happy spirit into the bosom of his God and Saviour, and sweetly fell asleep in the Lord Jesus. It is my earnest prayer to the great Head of the church, that my life, and the lives of all believers, may be as spiritually devout and exemplary, and onr latter end as glorious and triumphant, as were the life and death of this eminent saint. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." Amen and amen."

Mr. Heap's " Hephzibah" we heartily recommend to our readers, as a valuable addition to their libraries. We may also remark, that it is a volume containing the solution of many apparent difficulties which present themselves to the view of the feeble-minded, whom we are commanded to 'comfort,' and to the 'weak,' whom we are exhorted to ' support.'

I. Dialogues on Various Subjects, between Waller and Theodosius. By the Rev. B. Isaac, Minister of Gloucester Chapel, Hackney

II. The Glorious Gospel Hidden to those that are Lost. Being the substance of a Sermon preached at Gloucester Cliapel,on Sabbath Morning, Feb. 10, 1828. By the same.

HI. An Account of Samuel Crook, who was executed at Newgate on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1825, frc. Third Edition. By the same. Palmer.

By the recent publication of a sermon of Mr. Isaac's, we are reminded of an unfinished review of his " Dialogues on various Subjects" which appeared on p. 318, vol. 2, in a notice of several of its early numbers. On the completion of the promised parts, they were

« AnteriorContinuar »