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Him? If the very purpose for which Christ has chosen and ordained them is, as he expressly states, that they should go, and bring forth fruit, and that their fruit should remain, it is quite clear it cannot be the mind of Christ that those ministers should be satisfied without fruit, John xv. 16. Surely there is enough in this to warrant every minister of Christ in expecting fruit, and enough to forbid his being satisfied without fruit. Does not God declare respecting His prophets under the old covenant, that if they had stood in His counsel, they should have turned his people from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings, Jerem. xxiii. 22; and is it not asserted of the priests that when the law of truth was in their mouth, and iniquity was not found in their lips, and they walked with the Lord in truth and equity, they did turn many away from iniquity, Malac. ii. 6.? Was success thus promised by God to faithful ministers under the old covenant, and actually obtained by them, whilst the Holy Ghost was not yet given; and are we to credit that the ministers of Christ, under the new covenant, when the Holy Ghost is given, should be satisfied without success, and that it is the mind of God they ought to be f Impossible! Success, that is, the actual salvation of souls is the very object for which they have been chosen and sent forth by Christ; success is the very object they ought to have in view; success is that without which they ought never to be satisfied.
We should immediately detect, in other things, the absurdity of a man's being satisfied with using the means, though he did not obtain the end. Would the husbandman be satisfied with sowing, though he should not reap; or would the fisherman be satisfied with fishing, though he should take no fish f is it not strange, that we should see at once the absurdity of this, and yet that we cannot see how equally absurd it is that they who sow spiritually should be satisfied though they do not reap spiritually, and that they who have been made fishers of men's souls should be satisfied though they do not take souls f To be satisfied with using means without obtaining the end would in ordinary, and even trivial affairs, be esteemed a mark of folly, if not worse: then how can it be accounted for that in matters of the most solemn import this should be regarded as a part of wisdom, and in accordance with the mind of God. Is there any principle that can explain this inconsistency? Yes, there is one and but one: it is this, the truth, that there are but few ministers who realize in their hearts that the great object and end for which they have been put in the ministry is to save souls; and in failing to do this they fail to fulfil the object for which they were ordained. When a minister does indeed realize this great truth in his heart, the means without the end will not content him: it will not be enough for him that he preaches the truth, that his sermons are admired, and his conduct approved, that his congregations are overflowing, and his schools flourishing, that his Bible classes and prayer meetings are well attended, and his various societies well ordered, and that he himself is diligent and regular in the performance of all his ministerial duties ;—No; to such an one all these things without conversions will be nothing : such an one will not be satisfied with anything short of the salvation of souls.
That one who does not profess to believe that men in general are hurrying on to everlasting destruction, and to whom regeneration and conversion appear as flights of fancy or enthusiasm,—that such an one should be satisfied without seeing any fruit of his labours is consistent: but that one who professes to believe that the multitudes around him are going down to hell, and that he is sent to save them from it,—that he should be satisfied without their really being saved, is so very inconsistent that it can be explained only by the circumstance of his not realizing as a truth with his heart what he receives as a doctrine with his head. Nor can a minister whose heart is really set on the salvation of lost souls as the great object for which he has been sent by Christ rest satisfied without conversions, under the plea of having cast his bread upon the waters in the hope that he may find it after many days: though such an one will not withhold his hand from sowing seed, even where there is not the slightest prospect at the time of its producing fruit: and the writer would suggest whether this be not the proper application of the text referred to, Eccles. xi. 1;—yet the necessity of sowing on some occasions with a very uncertain prospect of success will not prevent him from looking for, or make him better able to be satisfied without success from his ministry in general. Moreover, if the heart be really set on the salvation of souls as the great object of the ministry, the absence of success will stir up the soul of the minister to still more earnestness, greater anxiety, and more fervent prayer for the conversion of his people; certainly, it will not leave him satisfied without fruit; for it will make him more dissatisfied than ever with himself and his ministry, and so deeply affected with the sight of the dying souls around him, that he will be ready to weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people. Such was the earnest anxiety—might we not say, the agony—of St. Paul for the real conversion of men's souls, that he could find no mode of speech so adapted to express it, as by declaring that he actually travailed in birth of them until Christ was formed in them. Gal. iv. 19.
Though success may not for a time attend the use of means, yet if the heart of the minister be really set on the salvation of souls, the absence of success will invariably produce the following effect: so far from leaving him satisfied, it will lead him to conclude there is something amiss in himself or his ministry to which the want of success is to be attributed. If the husbandmen was to sow without reaping any fruit, or comparatively little, and continue so to do, would he not naturally conclude there must be some fault in the seed he sowed, his mode of sowing it, or his culture of the ground on which he sowed? Would he not with full purpose of heart set himself to discover what the error was, and where it lay, and would he, or could he, be satisfied till it had been discovered and removed? In like manner would not the fisherman who had little or no success in fishing suspect he did not fish aright, or that his nets were out of order; and would he be satisfied till this was discovered and amended? We see the reasonableness of the conclusion, and of the conduct following, in these cases; and is it not equally reasonable that the minister who is spiritually both a husbandman and fisherman, should, when he has laboured on with little or no success, conclude there is some error in himself, the means he uses, or the manner of his using them, and should he rest contented till the error is discovered and removed? Does he not go forth with an object and an end as specific and express as theirs, and are not the means he uses just as much adapted to obtain the end as theirs? Then why should he be satisfied without it? No; if his heart be really set upon that end he will not be satisfied without it. How express is the promise of success made to Timothy, and in him, to every minister of Christ! Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to themthat thy profiting may appear to all;—or, in all things;—take heed unto thyself; and unto the doctrine; for, in doing this, thou shall- both save thyself and them that hear thee, 1 Tim. iv. 15, 16. This Scripture warrants every faithful minister to expect success; and where success, that is, the conversion of sinners, does not attend our ministry, it furnishes a clue to the discovery of what prevents it. Let such a minister enquire of God and his own heart, whether he do really give himself wholly to these things. Let him consider how much is implied in that word wholly: the question is not whether he give himself partly, or even a great deal to these things; but whether he do give himself wholly to them, so as to give himself to nothing else. Is the edification of his own soul, and the salvation of his hearers, the only thing he is concerned about; or, at least, is his concern about these so genuine as to swallow up, and utterly absorb his concern about all other things? Does he give himself so wholly to these things as to make every thing give way to them? Does he really and truly drown all regard for his own personal ease, prosperity, domestic comfort, and convenience, his family and friends, in the absorbing desire and concern for the salvation of his hearers? Are friends, family, fortune, health, comfort, reputation, all, laid down at the feet of Christ, and actually offered as a sacrifice upon the altar of the name of Jesus? In a word, does he in truth count not his life dear unto himself, so that he may finish his course with joy, and the ministry he has received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God? If it be not thus with him, can it with truth be said that he gives himself wholly to these things t"
SCOTT'S COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE; with Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations, Copious Marginal References, Indexes, fyc. Royal Quarto. III. and IV. Divisions. Fisher's Illustrated Edition.
We are glad to find that this excellent work has progressed to the commencement of the prophecy by Isaiah. Each Division contains five monthly parts. By this mode of publication the work is brought within the reach of many who otherwise would not be able to obtain it. The illustrations are fine specimens of the Engraver's art, and are from Drawings taken at the places which they represent, and which are mentioned in the Sacred writings. Every attentive reader of the Scriptures must feel interested in the principal places referred to in the Sacred history; to all such it must be highly gratifying to look upon the valuable illustrations contained in "Fisher's Edition of Scott's Commentary." We only add, that this work is justly esteemed as a most valuable practical comment. Dr. A. Clarke referring to it, says, "A multitude of practical observations are interspersed all through the text, which cannot fail, from the spirit of sound piety which they breathe, of being very useful." It is published at a price so moderate, that only an extensive sale can remunerate the enterprising Publishers.
FISHER'S HISTORIC ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE. Royal Quarto. Divisions V. VI. and VII. Fisher and Co.
This is truly a splendid work, which must be approved by the lovers of sacred history and the fine arts. It is admirably adapted to grace the table of the library and drawing room. The engravings are copied from original Drawings by first rate masters, and are got up in an exquisite manner.
THE JUVENILE SCRAP BOOK for 1843. By Mrs. Ellis, Author of" The Women of England," —" Daughters of England" fyc. Crown 8vo. Fisher and Co.
Beauty and utility are here admirably united. The artist's high-wronght skill and the author's brilliant talents, have produced a work which cannot fail to please. This elegant volume contains no less than sixteen exquisite engravings, and one hundred pages of such prose and poetry, as will not only please and instruct, but also delight and charm. We regard the piece contained in this volume entitled, " The Brother and Sister " as a very fine specimen of what the highly gifted mind and pen of Mrs. Ellis can produce. We envy not the heart of any who can read it without feeling a thrilling emotion. The binding is richly gilt; and in all respects it is an elegant production.
THE VISIT TO CLARINA; or, The Effect! of Revenge. An Irish Slory. Imperial 32mo. 176 pp. L. and G. Seeley.
This is a very interesting and instructive account of an Irish family, who, by indulging the feeling of revenge towards a neighbouring family, became involved in misery and disgrace. The narrative we suppose to be founded upon facts. The characters are well drawn. It is admirably adapted to be put into the hands of any who indulge the horrid passion of revenge.
MARY ATKINS; or, Nature and Grace. Imperial 32mo. 112 pp. L. and G. Seeley.
Important instruction communicated in a narrative of the history of a poor woman, who, when reduced in circumstances, gave way to bad tempers, and thus caused her husband to become a drunkard. By the benevolent persevering attentions of the wife of the clergyman of the parish, she was brought to know the truth, and then by her kind behaviour reclaimed her huband, and enjoyed domestic happiness.
SERMONS, chiefly designed for Family Reading and Village Worship. By J. Burns. Royal 12mo. 358 pp. Houlsion and Stoneman.
This volume contains twenty-six short serme-ns on important topics. The Sermons are all of a practical nature, and are discussed with considerable ability. The volume does not contain metaphysical abstractions, but such lucid, interesting, and profiting exhibitions of Divine truth as are suitable to all classes of persons.
ENGLAND AN OLIGARCHY; and a Short Treatise on the first principles of Political Government. By Jonathan Duncan, Esq. Royal 18mo. 105 pp. Madden and Co.
As in this Magazine we profess to be silent on all questions of party politics, we must refrain from expressing our opinion of the political sentiments advanced by Mr. Duncan; We may, however, say, that in this little volume there will be found much important historical information, bearing upon the present condition of our country. It is worthy of an attentive perusal.
FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS; Edited by the Rev. J. Cumminc, M. A. Royal 8vo. Part XVI. G. Virtue.
This part contains a beautifully engraved portrait of the celebrated English reformer, WicklifTe; besides other engravings, which are illustrative of the sufferings endured by the Martyrs.
CANADIAN SCENERY ILLUSTRATED: from Drawings by W. H. Bartlett; the Literary Department by N. P. Willis, Esq. Part XXVIII. Royal 4to. G. Virtue.
The views are " The Green at Fredericton; River St.Lawrence; Split Rock, St. John River; and Cape Blow-me-down, and Parrsboro'."
THE SCENERY AND ANTIQUITIES OF IRELAND Illustrated; from Drawings by W. H. Bartlett; the Literary Department by N. P. Willis, Esq. Royal Quarto. Part XVII. G. Virtue.
"Dunluce Castle; Youghall Abbey, the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh; Glen of the Downs;" and "Walker's Pillar,—Walls of Londonderry," are the illustrations contained in this number. The engravings of this Work, and of the Canadian Scenery, are by first rate artists.
THE SUPREMACY OF THE BODY OF BELIEVERS.
A SECOND TRACT FOR THE TIMES.
When the Lord Jesus Christ had fulfilled his mission on earth, he appointed apostles or missionaries (for the words are equivalent) to go out and discipline, paQriTtvoaTi, Matt, xxviii. 19: not merely teach ItSaKij Tuq avBpwTras all nations, into a community, society or church; gathering together in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad, John ii. 52; and it was for the formation, profit and preservation of this community, that all their further efforts and institutions were to be employed.
The distinguishing mark of a Christian church, is repeatedly described as being the obedience of faith, viraKortv irtirrfwc, Rom. i. 5; xvi. 26; and the conduct flowing from this, as exemplified in love to God and man, is so clearly and minutely laid down in the New Testament, that there is no need for us to enter upon a long enumeration of the particulars. But though the maxim "By their fruits ye shall know them," would appear to be as characteristic a mark of a true church as of a true minister, yet few things have been more the subject of dispute, in what is termed the religious world, than this: —of the essential portion of the church of Christ, and who are they that are exclusively its true members: a subject which we shall now proceed briefly to elucidate.
In temporal matters,
"The enormous faith of many made for one," was once a maxim that few had the courage to doubt, and fewer to dispute; and the words "I am the state, in the mouth of Louis le grand, were not originally thought extravagant. We are the church, is the language of many who seem unconscious of any absurdity in the expression; and there is scarcely a lay-member of the established church of England, who entertains the idea that the word includes in its definition any others beside bishops, priests, and deacons; although one of the Articles of his faith assures him that " The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful (believing, credentium) men, in the which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly administered, according to Christ's ordinance."
God gave some apostles, some prophets, &c., for "a work of ministry" or service, "for edifying this body of Christ." Eph. iv. 12. ng ep-jw SiaKoviag, fie oiKoSo/iriv r» aoifiarog Tb xpiorou; and from the Scriptures it also appears, that doctrines as well as ministers, are but means to an end. Christ himself is the great eternal means, whose object is to save people from sin to holiness, as a preparation for heaven: the importance of which as a place of residence is, that it is the place and seat of the God of holiness. The end of the commandment (God's revealed will, forbidding or commanding) is charity; (or love proceeding from grace) the virtue enduring, when faith and hope, the means of its acquisition, no longer exist. Opinions, then are important, but only as means to this end; and if the word heresy must be retained to signify an error in fundamentals, it must be allowed that the greatest heresy in religion is an evil life. Judas by transgression fell, (Acts i. 25.) as did Satan before him; and as on divine testimony no man can serve two masters, we can discover no reason why they who have fallen into gross sin, shall continue to claim the names of Christian ministers, and assume to be the only fit channels through whom the succession of a ministration of holiness can be continued in the world.
On the fundamental part of our subject, the supreme importance of the body of believers, we shall do well to derive our chief information, as well as our authority, from the writings of the apostles; the apostles must have well