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A SALUTATION, OR YEARLY GREETING, TO THE ONE CHURCH OF JEHOVAH, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS, TO THE PRAISE
OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE, WHEREIN HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED.”
"Grace and peace be multiplied uuto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”—2 Peter i. 2, 3. BELOVED, accept this, our annual greet-things, and while passing through the you
in the bowels of Christ Jesus, vale of misery," with all the sorrows of as a token of our continued diligence to Baca, make it a well, in no way dismayed stir up your pure minds, by way of at the bitterness of its waters, though remembrance of those things, of the the pools be filled, seeing the blessedness which ye have both heard and learned ; is ours of having our strength in Him, inasmuch as it came unto you, "not in whose ways are in our hearts; rejoicing word only, but also in power, and in the in the Lord, and being “joyful in our Holy Ghost, and in much assurance ;" God,” knowing that the promise of our though received in much affliction, yet covenant God unto us is, that we shall
with joy in the Holy Ghost” (1 Thess. come and rejoice upon the hill of Zion, 1.5,6). For you we bow the knee unto and shall have plenteousness of goods the God and Father of our Lord Jesus which the Lord shall give them; namely, Christ, that the peace of God may rule wheat, wine, oil, young sheep, and calves, in your hearts, and the word of Christ and their conscience shall be as a well dwell in you richly in all wisdom, that watered garden; for they shall no more as the one body ye may be thankful; be hungry. Then shall the maid rejoice And whatsoever ye do in word or in the dance; yea, both old and young deed, do all in the name of the Lord folks : for I will turn their sorrow into Jesus, giving thanks to God and the gladness, and will comfort them from Father by him” (Col. iii. 17).
their sorrows, and make them joyful ; I. Brethren, our province in this our will pour plenteousness upon the hearts salutation to you upon the opening of of the priests, and my people shall be another data in the annals of time does satisfied with my goodness, saith the not lie in the rehearsal of the items of Lord” (Jer. xxxi. 12-14, old Bible the past year's catalogue, which, like its reading). forerunners, was only a counterpart of . It was this satisfaction from the Lord the “prophet's roll,” from its com- which gave those triumphs of soul to mencement to the end thereof, fraught David, when he called upon his soul and with“ mourning, lamentation, and woe.” all that was within him to bless His holy The fitting moments as they withdrew name, for the forgiveness of all iniquity, from us, carried with them the light the healing of all diseases, redemption of afiliction of the same, reminding us of his life from destruction, and crowning our high privilege to "forget the things him with lovingkindness and tender that are behind, and to press forward to mercy; satisfying his mouth with good, those which are before."
and renewing his strength (Psalm ciii. While “To every thing there is a 1-5); nor has He ceased to satisfy His season, and a time to every purpose poor with bread, making the horn of the under the heaven (Eccl. iii. 1), from house of David to bud, and ever lighting its vicissitudes we are taught the vanity up the ordained lamp of His anointed. of all the labour under the sun, and are Beloved, have we not in these preinstructed in that knowledge which liminaries of our usual meeting of you cometh from above; and can rest with at this eventful period of time's transition, an unshaken confidence, that “Whatso- said enough to prove that writing to you ever God doeth, it shall be for ever; the same things, unto us “it is not nothing can be put to it, nor anything grievous ?" for we have lived to see an taken from it, and God doeth it that men end of all perfection, except in Him shonld fear before him."
who is the fountain of life,” and of We, then, desire to pass from these whom are we “in Christ Jesus, who of
God is made unto us wisdom, and righte-conceive a more soul-animating subject, ousness, and sanctification, and redemp- or one more suited for our yearly salu. tion; that, according as it is written, tation to the spiritual Church of our he that glorieth, let him glory in the common Lord, than the calling up atLord” (ĩ Cor. i. 30, 31). Hence, our tention to the personal characters and union with God, the fountain of life, work of the three that bear record in being through the person and work of heaven, the Father, the Word, and the the Lord Jesus, as our great Mediator Holy Ghost, as they are made known in between Jehovah and the Church, we the great work of salvation; that while truly live, move, and have our being in contemplating the personal acts of each Him; for not only are we comforted with person in the Godhead, we shall have the assurance, because “He lives, we somewhat to lean upon, so that our comshall live also," but further, the Lord munion will be with each other, while hath shown this great mystery, when our "hearts being comforted, being knit declaring, “ As the living Father hath together in love, and unto all riches of sent me, and I live by the Father : so the full assurance of understanding, to he that eateth me, even he shall live by the acknowledgment of the mystery of me” (John vi. 57). Seeing, then, that God, and of the Father, and of Christ these things are so with us (amidst the (Col. ii. 2): knowing the blessedness of flickering of this mundane state), we that "joy which is unspeakable and full having a more sure word of promise to of glory: receiving the end of your hope in, let us rise up and return thanks faith, even the salvation of your souls” to our God, who has folded up the scroll (1 Peter i. 8, 9). of the year 1858, and with it all the We must no longer detain you upon sorrows thereof, hushed for ever in the the threshold of those most glorious bowels of His own mercy towards us ; things which present themselves before and let us, in the joy of our heart, enter us, upon the opening of this new data of upon the new, and, at present, unopened time's revolution, but look up
prayerone of 1859, in “Giving thanks unto the ful dependence upon Him to whom Father, which hath made us meet to be alone it pertaineth “to lead into all partakers of the inheritance of the truth,” fulfilling the Old Testament prosaints in light : who hath delivered us mise, “ All thy children shall be taught from the power of darkness, and hath of the Lord” (Isaiah liv. 13). And our translated us into the kingdom of His Lord confirmed it by His quotation in dear Son : in whom we have redemption the days of His flesh, " It is written in through His blood, even the forgiveness the prophets (says Jesus), And they of sins" (Col. i. 12-14).
shall be all taught of God. Every man How vast the comprehension, and therefore that hath heard, and hath how fully are the grand truths of all learned of the Father, cometh unto me" that concerns the Church of the Lord (John vi. 45). Let us, then, pause with Jesus, set before us within the compass holy solemnity, while we take but a hasty of these interesting verses; yet, how glance at the stupendous subject before true is it in every day's experience to be us. First, in that grace-taught position found, that “The natural man receiveth under which we are found upon the first not the things of the Spirit of God: for dawn of the new year 1859, "Giving they are foolishness unto him: neither thanks unto the Father.” Secondly, in can he know them, because they are reviewing the things for which thanks spiritually discerned (1 Cor. ii. 14). are given. And lastly, the blessedness Hence, the apostle is instructed to draw arising therefrom.“ Giving thanks unto the attention of the "saints and faithful the Father.” What an unspeakable blessbrethren in Christ, which were at ing, if by the sovereign act of regeneraColosse;" and with them all those in tion, the Spirit of God's dear Son hath every age and generation, who, like been sent into our hearts, whereby we them," have the mind of Christ,” speak- cry, “Abba, Father !" for is it not an ing "not in the words which man's wis- indisputable fact, that this belongeth dom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost unto none except those who are put teacheth, comparing spiritual things with amongst the children, and taught to say, spiritual.” Ñor can we for a moment " My Father ?” “The Spirit itself bear
eth witness with our spirits, that we are we "give thanks unto the Father," the children of God." There is an in- must be considered all that can take describable preciousness in the Word place in the time-state of our existence, substantiating our relationship to the in the continual watchings and watering, Lord Jesus, and confirming our sonship. with the safe keeping of us day and
And in giving thanks unto the Father, night (Isaiah xxvii. 3). we can do no less than begin the grate- Nor must we overlook that the meetful thanksgiving of our hearts by running ness for which we give thanks brings us back to where the Lord began with us, into the enjoyment of the inheritance in that meetness we have to be partakers which pertaineth unto the whole family. with the saints of light in their inherit- “Saints in light” can have no more, ance, even from everlasting; for so the and we, who for the present are wayLord himself declares, when He would faring men” in the lowlands, can have have His dear people look beyond all no less, as the inheritance is not reverthese data of appearances, “ Yea, I have sionary or dependent upon the caprice loved thee with an everlasting love” or wil of any one; the Lord himself (Jer. xxxiii
. 4); and of what import is being the portion of His people's inthe word everlasting, but to mean that heritance and cup, maintaining their state which hath neither beginning nor lot. Hence the delight of His people end ? Hence all the acts of Jehovah therein, “The lines are fallen unto me in towards the Church of Christ are of equal pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly duration with Himself; for the apostle heritage " (Ps. xvi. 5, 6); thus, though bears witness, under Divine teaching, for the present they are in different that all spiritual blessings are ours in worlds, " grace and glory,” it is but one Christ; “ According as He hath chosen “ family, whose names are written in us in Him before the foundation of the heaven”-the one Church, chosen by world ;” and that He predestinated and the Father, and given to Christ, whom adopted us children in Christ Jesus, He calls His “Dove.” “My undefiled is “ to the praise of the glory of His grace, but one; she is the only one of her wherein He hath made us accepted mother, she is the choice one of her that the beloved” (Eph. i. 3-6). And bare her” (Song vi. 9). again, the Church of the Thessalonians Secondly, a brief review of those are said to be “in God our Father and things in connexion with our meetness, the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. i. 1). for participation in this “inheritance." Nor should we overlook that this gracious And let us not fail to observe, that the act of the Father is before any personal whole is for the sake of Christ and His work of the Lord Jesus, or even the com- glory; for all and every act of our mission of sin, and wholly arises from covenant God and Father was so purtheir everlasting well-being in Him: for posed to flow through Him to us, assuring as they stood in Him, as the chosen and us that all the love of the Father conelect of Jehovah, they needed not redemp: cerning the Church, was so arranged as tion, being "holy and without blame;" to secure His people's happiness in the but in the lapsed state of Adam's trans- Son of His love. Thus our deliverance gression, redemption by the blood of from darkness, and the translation here Christ is wrought for them, “Accord spoken of, are only the effects of our ing to His own purpose and grace, which being heirs of the inheritance He hath was given us in Christ Jesus before the chosen for us, and appointed us unto world began ” (2 Tim. i. 9)Thus when (Psal. xlvii. 4). Hence our regenerathe Divine mind went forth in covenant tion” (for the terms used above are only transaction, having for its base the per- synonymous), which is the personal work sonal honour and glory of Christ, He is of God the Holy Ghost, wrought wholly given to the Church that He might be by Him, and without which we could Jehovah's "salvation unto the ends of never know the things
“that are freely the earth ;” and they given to Christ, given unto us of God, even this is done that as they were the people the Lord for us through Christ (Titus iii. 5, 6); formed for Himself, they might show the cause whereof is said to be “Because forth His praise (Isaiah xliii. 21). In ye are sons (or having a title to the the category of our meetness, for which inheritance), God hath sent forth the
6 Who gave
Spirit of His Son into
your understanding being (Gal. iv. 6): not to bring into any new enlightened; that ye may know what is relationship, but to prove our eternal | the hope of His calling, and what the and divine union and standing in Him, riches of the glory of His inheritance who being our inheritance, opens up our in the saints” (Eph. i. 17, 18). Such an high birth and parentage in making mani" inheritance” that called forth “ fest that “now are we the sons of God” demption;" such an “inheritance " that (1 John iii. 2).
brought forth the greatest of all gifts; Lastly. The blessing arising from the such an “inheritance” that prevented great act of making us meet. * In whom His glory, being given unto another we have redemption through His blood, such an inheritance” that showed the the forgiveness of sins." What a glorious pleasure He had in them when He sent theme is this ! not only to sound forth redemption unto His people, and beaution the opening of a new year! after the fied" the meek with salvation” (Psalm imprimatur of death has been stamped cxlix. 4). upon the whole, with which the last has One word more. The price of our “rebeen filled in; and how vast the blessed- demption through His blood ;" a price ness, that the eternal song can be sung only to be found in Him, who was called by the Lord's redeemed in the strange of God, as Aaron, to be a priest, and land of our earthly pilgrimage, and where that " a merciful High Priest” in things the Church is called to realize the en- pertaining unto God. Thus, beloved, we deared characters of her redeeming Hus- are not our own; " Ye are bought with band, “For thy maker is thine husband; a price” (1 Cor. vi. 20); the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Himself to be a ransom for all, to be Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the testified in due time" (1 Tim. ii. 6); God of the whole earth shall He be whereof the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, called” (Isa. liv. 5). There are volumes witnesseth, “ Neither by the blood of of grace and mercy couched in the word goats and calves, but by His own blood and work of redemption, because in it He entered in once into the holy place, the love of God is commended unto us; having obtained eternal redemption for for by our falling into sin, and becoming us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, transgressors, a way is opened for our and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the redemption, by the sacrifice of God's unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of dear Son; not that the Lord could have the flesh: how niuch more shall the been prevented having a Church in love, blood of Christ, who through the eternal whom He could have delighted in as Spirit offered Himself without spot to sons, and they have been happy, but this God, purge your conscience from dead would have stopped the flowing of the foun- works to serve the living God” (Heb. tain of mercy, and abrogated the character ix. 12–14). of the Redeemer. This could not be, for Lastly. The fruit of this "redempthe decree had gone forth, “Thou art tion,” “forgiveness of sins.” And is my son; this day have I begotten thee "not this the first-awakened cry in the (Psal. ii. 7). And again, " Thou art my new-born babe in grace," forgiveness ;" servant, O Israel, in whom I will be and we do well in coming in our right glorified. It is a light thing that thou character of sinners to the Lord Jesus as shouldest be my servant to raise up the the only Saviour, for God pardons all tribes of Jacob, and to restore the pre- sins in Christ, and by one sovereign act, served of Israel: I will also give thee through His blood, declares, “I, even I, for a light to the Gentiles, that thou am He that blotteth out thy sins as a mayest
my salvation unto the end, cloud, and thine iniquities as a thick of the earth” (Isa. xlix. 3, 6).
cloud.” Beloved, cast not away your Beloved, the subject outbounds the confidence, nor think it strange, whatever utmost sketch of our present capacities; the opening of the year now entered upon we can only echo in our salutation the may be ; there is no casualty attendant Word, praying That the God of our thereon, but all appointed by that Father Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, who has hitherto called you to be thankmay give unto you the spirit of wisdom ful. Recollect, that Him in whom we and revelation in the knowledge of Him :) have “redemption,” not only “binds
the winds in His fists, keepeth the floods i tokens of a Father's love that will confrom overflowing," but also “sits upon strain us through all to chant in the the water-floods amidst the storm, caus- house of our pilgrimage, “God is faithing His voice to be heard,” “ It is I, be ful, who has called us to the fellowship not afraid.”
of His Son." In all the affection of our soul, we once The blessing of the Three-in-one Jemore salute you, having no fearfulness hovah be with you. of mind but the new and eventful year London.
A STRIPLING, 1959 will be fraught with those special!
EARLY RECOLLECTIONS OF THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.
Ah! when I look back and think of that young man was, and received a very what the Lord has brought me through, off-hand reply in the negative. Oh! I I can
come to no other conclusion, thought, surely all London would know indeed, than that I am a miracle of who this great preacher was. I went God's mercy and grace. I recollect, down among the crowd that were issusoon after my unhappy marriage, that ing from the doors of the chapel, and we were located in the neighbourhood inquired of one and another who he was, of the old Adelphi Chapel; and although but nobody knew him; all seemed cold my poor, misguided husband hated and indifferent, but this one thing I knew, chapels, and churches, and everything that, like the blind man in the gospel, else associated with religion, yet I was He had opened mine eyes.” At least, enabled, pretty regularly, to attend that his Master had made use of him to do old place of worship, the pulpit of so. Well
, I returned home full of what which was at that time supplied by Dr. I had heard, and days and weeks passed, Colyer, John Hyatt, and others, One and nobody could tell me who that Sabbath afternoon, I wended: my way as young man was ; when, one day, a carusual to chapel, not caring over much penter was called in to do some repairs for my soul's interest; when looking to the stairs. I hung about that man through the glass door on my way to while he was at work; I did not know the gallery, I saw a stranger in the exactly why, yet I took every opportupulpit, a young, thin, pale-faced man. nity of trying to learn who that young He was in prayer. Well
, I thought, man was, whose words had taken such a you don't look much, whoever you may root-hold of me. After beating about be; and in this spirit
' I took my seat. I the bush for some time, I at lasť said.to had remained but a few minutes a the good man, “ Pray, do you know the listener, when a strange sensation came i Adelphi Chapel ?" The old man left off over me; the words that this young man his sawing, and looked up at me, exuttered, came with such power upon me, claiming, " Oh, yes, to be sure I do! I that my frame underwent an extraordi- have been a member there for many nary agitation. Oh, I thought, this is years.” I immediately inquired, “ And none other than the house of God, and pray, can you tell me who that young, the very gate of heaven. The prayer thin, pale-faced man was, that preached concluded, and the hymn sung, this such and such a Sunday ?” “Yes, young man rose, and gave out the text, to be sure I can,” responded the carwith marked emphasis, “Beloved of penter; “that was the Rev. Joseph God, called to be saints, grace to you frons, of Camberwell.” “The Rev.Joseph and peace from God our Father, and the Irons, of Camberwell," I repeated, again Lord Jesus Christ."
and again, and my mind was made up, Oh, what a sermon followed! what a come what would, I'd be off on the foldescription of the Church and the world! lowing Sunday, to Camberwell, although I was riveted to the preacher; he spoke I did not know where it was. Sunday a new language to my soul, which over- came, bringing with it persecution whelmed me.
At the conclusion of the beyond measure, and most uncongenial service I inquired of the person who sat weather. It thundered and lightened ; next to me, if she could tell me whol but I was bent upon my object. Wind