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our peace with God. Warm frames are very uncertain and soon vanish, but Jesus in his person, atonement, righteousness, and intercession, is a firm foundation to build upon. It is true that a heavenly frame may be the chariot in which Christ may ride to visit his churches, and come into the souls of his people, but real saints are not so much taken with the chariot as the King of saints who rides in it.
May the Lord the Holy Spirit give you much communion with the Father in his electing love, with the Son in his salvation, and much of the Spirit of adoption; grace to fill up your station in the church and in the family, with honour, comfort, and credit; make you a blessing to all around you, and a means of scattering abroad a savour of Jesus' name in every department of the circle in which you move. And may grace, mercy, and peace be with you.
June, 1827. J. C.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
May you and your dear spouse be kept alive in heart and affection to the Lord Jesus Christ, as your present and everlasting All. When we consider time will soon be swallowed up in eternity, is it worth while to be looking at present things? you will be called to quit this present state, much sooner than you expect; therefore, my dear Sir, learn to cast all your cares upon the Lord, and make up all your happiness in him. This will free you from ten thousand sorrows and burdens. The first and great blessing you need to make your mind perfectly happy in, is to take into your understanding, and to believe with your whole heart, this vastly important truth, that " the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin."
It is an eternal verity, that salvation is wholly of the Lord. The eternal Three are jointly concerned in it; the eternal Son engaged to become the salvation of his people; the eternal Spirit engaged to reveal it, to bring it home in the everlasting gospel to our ears, and by it to bring home to our hearts. And there is life and salvation, by the will and decree of the holy Trinity, to every one that believeth in Jesus. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I cannot but conceive many of the Lord's people overlook salvation: they are not attentive enough to what the Lord hath revealed of Christ in the written word. We are sinners, and we are but sinners; and salvation is for such, and for none but such. And as we have all inherent in us which is contained in sin, so there is full, free, complete, and eternal redemption set before us in Christ. And if
the Holy Spirit is pleased to direct our minds off ourselves to Christ, then we see that there is everlasting health and cure for us, in the blood and righteousness of the Holy Lamb of God. We should not look into ourselves, nor at our sins. We should have nothing to do with ourselves; Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; his blood cleanseth from all sin, his righteousness delivereth from eternal death; and we are as fit objects and subjects for Jesus to glorify himself in, and on, as ever any our Jesus looked on. We should never make any objections against ourselves; Christ makes none against us, why then should we? faith's object is Christ ; it is what Christ is, not what we are, is to uphold and support our minds; it is what we apprehend of Christ that heals our wounds, purifies our consciences, comforts our hearts, and carries us beyond all we are in ourselves. Were we engaged in spiritual contemplation on the love of Christ, we should have a real feast, and enjoy heaven upon earth : and there is nothing worth a thought out of Christ; and it is not worth our while to pass a day, hour, or moment, without thinking on Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. It is blessed employment to study Christ; to view him in his word and in his works; to meditate on his works and talk of his doings: Oh, this is grace ; to be blessing and praising the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever: that he became true and very man, that he took our nature, sin, shame, pain, grief, death and hell, to deliver us from it; he hath removed our sins from us, as far as the east is from the west; he hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; he died for our sins, and rose again for our justification : and our whole redemption is in him. It is not what we feel, enjoy, or experience in ourselves, is our salvation. No, it is what Christ has done and suffered in his own person, is our everlasting salvation.
We can never be too clear in our minds concerning this. We cannot believe aright, any further than we have a scriptural knowledge of Christ. Hence it comes to pass the generality take up with, and are taken with, the things that accompany salvation, more than they are with salvation itself. Yet this is greatly to be lamented. Surely Christ is everlastingly worthy of his own crown and honour, for bearing our sins in his own body on the tree: because it is with his stripes we are healed. And if Christ hath saved us in himself with an everlasting salvation, then being saved, let us give Christ the glory of it, and live and walk as the saved of the Lord. If you ask, how shall I know I am in Christj as I cannot live on him except I am first'convinced that I am one with him? I reply—live on Christ as though he was your Christ. That is the best way of knowing your interest in him. And this requires nothing but your renouncing yourself and carrying yourself wholly out, and looking simply to Jesus. Faith, though a supernatural act, is more simple than we can possibly explain. Believe on the Lord Jems Christ, says Paul to the trembling jailor, and thou shalt be saved. Here is Christ the person believed on. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not believing
Vol. IV.—No. 40. M
in ourselves. It is not exercising our minds on ourselves, and what we are, or have been ; but it is the exercise of our minds on Christ: and all our health and cure, for every malady which sin hath introduced into our souls and bodies, is in him.
It is an invaluable blessing, to have a spiritual conception that we are discharged from all our sin before the Lord, now and evermore, upon the footing of the righteousness and sacrifice of Christ; and that we stand in Christ, in the sight of our heavenly Father, as holy, righteous, and pure, as the holiness, righteousness, and blood of Christ can make us. We are accepted in him the beloved ; his death is our eternal security. And were we but skilful in the word of righteousness, we should live a life of faith upon the Son of God to such a degree, as would carry its own evidence with it, that no life can exceed it but the life of glory. Oh, that you may be dead to all within you, and about you!
Do not let your ears be open, nor eyes neither, to all things about and before you; it is only to be more miserable than there is need. Do not converse with any one so freely as with Christ, and keep nothing to yourself: pour out your whole heart before him, speak all out freely to him; whatsoever you want tell him of it. Go to him with all your complaints, with all yoflr sins, with all your corruptions; whatsoever passeth within you, let it be a means of keeping up and promoting fellowship between Christ and your soul. Expect nothing from the creature but sorrow and misery, then you will never be disappointed. Expect to feel, see, and experience nothing in your fallen nature but sin, disease, death, and a real view how justly you deserve, as considered in yourself, the damnation of hell. This will always fit you for communion with Christ, in whom is life, health, and salvation.
Exercise your mind, not on what you are in yourself, but on what you are in Christ. Do not depend on any minister, search the scriptures for yourself; look up to the Holy Spirit for his light and unction. Pray him to be your leader, teacher, and guide, all the journey of life. It is as necessary for you to know the scriptures for yourself, as it is to hear them preached and explained by others. Do not be so much taken with church and christian fellowship, as with fellowship with Christ; I want Christ to be all in you, and all to you, then you will be perfectly happy. And do not do, say, or think any thing which will make you unhappy. Any, every thing, that meddling with which will give you uneasiness, avoid it; have nothing to do with it; hear nothing, shut your ears to every thing which has the least tendency to make you miserable. A merry heart mciketh a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. Christ's love contains an everlasting heaven; his blood is an infallible medicine. Be not afraid, only believe. I can say no more. Bring what I have wrote into experience and practice, and you will then reap the benefit of it. It appears to me it will be wholly impossible for me to spend a Lord's-day at Reading. My best respects to your beloved partner.
I am, and remain your's in the Lord, P.
ON DISTINGUISHING GRACE.
"Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world f" was a question proposed by Judas (not Iscariot) when the great preacher of righteousness, the glorious instructor of his church, was delivering his last discourse to his disciples. He had now almost finished, in point of active obedience, the work his Father had given him to do, and was spending the last evening with his disciples and followers before his crucifixion.
It is worthy of remark, and the closest attention, that our blessed Lord being according to divine appointment about to leave them, and knowing the painful solicitude that would necessarily arise in their minds on the reflection, converses in the most free and familiar manner with them, on subjects which seem of all others most calculated to sustain their sinking minds under present and all future burdens they might be called to bear. He assures them he is going to prepare mansions of eternal rest for them; and to confirm their minds in the certainty of their possessing them, declares he himself is the way thither,—and for their consolation under whatever they should endure before they were taken home to their possessions, he also assures them that if not by a continuance of his bodily presence, yet in his spiritual presence be would be with them, to sustain them in all difficulties, to keep them in all troubles, to guide them in all their distresses, and to afford them every needful intelligence and comfort while travelling through this vale of tears. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
By the influence and instruction of that " other comforter" our blessed Lord gave them the sweet promise, the positive assurance, that they should enjoy so great a degree of instruction and comfort as to fully answer all the purposes of their supply, support, and encouragement, till the arrival of their final deliverance. Yet, notwithstanding the clearness of our Lord's language, and the absolute nature of the promise, we still see their minds were partially in the dark. Neither the bodily presence nor the positive assurance of Christ necessarily afford them that removal of fear, illumination of understanding, and confirmation of soul in the truth, which is promised to all his dear people : and this is evidently seen in the question of that dear disciple, recorded by St. John, xiv. 22.
The momentous enquiry—with which we commenced this article— is the language of one divinely affected with a concern for the glory of God and his own eternal interests; it is a question that does not proceed from the heart of every one who names the name of Christ, neither is it proposed by those who are satisfied in a state of spiritual ignorance: but it is the offspring of the secret operations of a work of grace on the soul,—it is an experience which all the dear people of God shall be brought into,—but not without first being enquired after. For never are the blessings of grace enjoyed till the soul is wrought upon, under divine influence, by a desire for them: and nothing can argue more favourably towards a poor, ruined child of Adam, than a serious concern being experienced to come to instruction,—a desire to be led into the truth—to be taught of God—to be made wise unto salvation. Why is a man satisfied under his awful deceptions and delusions ?—there is no concern within that the cloud of darkness which envelopes the soul should be removed; that the ignorance in which he is involved should be done away; and that he should by sovereign wisdom be made wise. To be solicitous about knowing the way of salvation; to be brought down humble and dependant to the footstool of divine mercy, with the question of the disciple on the lips; is the strong, the special mark of Jehovah's favour. And wherever we see an enquiring, solicitous soul, however weak, however dark or discouraged by the corruptions of a carnal nature, the temptations of the devil, or the ten thousand ills it has to combat with in a world of sin and sorrow; we have more than ground to hope favourably—we have right to pass the sentence of the gospel on such a soul, and say: it is already in possession of the blessings sought after, and secured to the everlasting enjoyment of all that it feels it wants.
There is another important consideration involved in the question to which our attention is directed, and that is, the high, the honourable views expressed of him to whom it is addressed : " Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us?" By it we understand universal authority, uncontrolled dominion, is ascribed to Jesus as his own right: he is sovereign Lord of his church, the Lord of creation, the God of providence, and the uncontrolled ruler of his church and people. It is blessed to be brought to such views as these of the Lord Jesus Christ; for nothing that as man he hath performed for his church, in active obedience or passive suffering, can answer any valuable purpose if he be not what Judas herein pronounces him to be. If he be not Lord of his church, on what ground is secured the enjoyment of that salvation he came to work out? But being the uncontrolled Majesty of heaven, and Lord of his church, he so secures to them what arises out of his obedience and work, that we may say with the writer to the Hebrews, " Therefore"—because he hath an arm of omnipotent power—" he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him." Faith may affect to look at the manhood's obedience as a source of dependance, but if she