Imágenes de páginas

spake unto Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob." Oh, how sweet-how heartwarming-how soul-comforting is the contemplation of the goodness, and the mercy, and the faithfulness of our God! Who so great a God as our God, that pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin! How precious it is to make the very language of David and Daniel our own, with respect to the Lord's astounding forbearance and long-suffering in reference to Israel. Truly it inspires one with hope, that as He was such a God to them, so He will continue to be such a God unto us. He is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” “I the Lord change not,” He says; si therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Beloved, we shall never be able, even in eternity, fully to estimate the goodness of our God, with respect to His wisdom and mercy in the training and discipline to which He subjected us at the time to which we refer. His work had long been laid upon our hearts. For years and years had there been a contention with the Lord as to personal fitness and aptitude. “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh ?” &c. “I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue,” &c. These scruples at length silenced and overcome by the Lord's own loving rebukes, a host of other difficulties presented themselves; and we used to think it had not required a stronger arm to bring Israel out of Egypt, than was necessary to bring us out of our own then position. But we were brought out in God's own time, and in God's own way.

Oh, should we address any upon whose hearts the Lord's work is deeply laid, let them not be discouraged by the multiplicity and the complicated nature of their trials and difficulties and perplexities. Those are all favourable tokens. Beloved, you are placed in the most auspicious of circumstances. Fear not, nor be dismayed; but be of good courage. Remember it is the Lord's work, and “ye have no need to fight in this battle, for the battle is not yours, but the Lord’s.” The darker your path the better; the more hedged up your way, the better; the less appearance of succour and deliverance, the better. Thy God will come with strong hand.” He will work deliverance, for “ is there anything too hard for the Lord ?” Is He not Jehovah-Jireh still ? Is it less His province now than in olden day“ to lead His people by a way that they knew not, and in paths that they have not seen; to make darkness light before them ; crooked things straight; and rough places plain?” Oh, then, be it your mercy, beloved, to s stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” He will work—aye, we speak it with reverence, He must work- <-as He did in Manoah's day, when he and his wife stood by, and the angel of the covenant “wrought wondrously.” Oh, bear in mind, to meddle

Put not forth thy hand, Uzza-like, to steady the ark. “Be still, and know that He is God.” Is He, the great, the high, the holy One, at a loss ? Can He have overlooked ? Shall He have forgotten? Is there aught for which He was not prepared ? He who is infinite in wisdom, love, power, grace, faithfulness ? Impossible! What does the Bible say ? What do old and New Testament saints say? What saith His ancient and highly-favoured Israel ? What is the testimony of believers in all ages ? Has there been an exception in the great cloud of witnesses from Adam's day down to our own ? We defy Satan, or all the powers of darkness, to bring forward one solitary instance out of the myriads upon myriads of cases with which oor God has had to do, in which He has failed to be faithful, or allsufficient,

or merciful, or gracious. Every vessel of mercy has received at His hand all needful grace, mercy, compassion, love. The testimony has


is to mar.

been unanimous and universal. And now, in these latter times, when Jehovah's work on earth is rapidly drawing to a close, is yours, poor troubled brother, to be the first-yours the exceptional-case? That be far from Him. No, wait and watch ; yea, praise and pray; for verily thy God shall appear.

* 'Tis just in the last distressing hour,
Our God displays delivering power ;
The mount of danger is the place

Where we shall see surprising grace." But to return. Another thought strikes us in regard to the protracted period to which we have adverted : it is with respect to our poor and imperfect labours in connexion with this work. Whilst it calls for much thank fulness and adoring acknowledgment on our part, it ought at the same time to awaken in us intense self-loathing and deep and unfeigned humility. Whilst the apostle asks, “Who is sufficient for these things pa we know not what we should do, if we could not fall back upon the great fact which he elsewhere expresses, “ We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." This declaration of the apostle is, to our minds, full of the richest consolation ; and, in connexion with it, one of the dying remarks of the venerable.WATTS WILKINSON often occurs to us with peculiar comfort and satisfaction. * I can never get beyond the cry of the poor publican," said that blessed man, on his sick and dying bed, “ God be merciful to me, a sinner !” Moreover, when speak. ing of his pulpit labours, caught up into the third heaven, as to his hearers he would seem to be ; his countenance shining almost as though it were an angels; and his whole heart and general bearing apparently absorbed in the great and glorious work in which he was engaged; yet even this blessed man would say in reference to his ministrations, “ so much self-seeking." Oh, if he said so, what may those say who were not worthy to unloose his shoe-latchet ? For ourselves we can with the utmost unfeignedness and sin. cerity say, we are amazed that Jehovah, who " charges His angels with folly,” and in whose sight even the very heavens are not clean, should condescend to make any use whatever of such weak and feeble instrumentalities. Yet again we are comforted from the recollection of who and what those men were of whom the Lord was pleased to make use both in Old and New Testament times; and thus all the glory redounded to Him, to whom alone it was most justly due.

Beloved, we cannot close our observations in reference to the past, without one remark. It is this, that, personally, we cannot' but admire the wisdom, and adore the love, and acknowledge the faithfulness, and the power, and the grace that has been uniformly and unexceptionably connected with every step of our pilgrimage. Whatever losses or crosses-vexations or trials--We may have had, from our inmost hearts we bless and praise and magnify our God in all and for all. Many and many a hard thought have we entertained of our best Friend whilst passing through those trials; too ready have we been, in ten thousand instances, to misjudge Him; too hastily have we drawn our conclusions as to 'His wisdom, and goodness, and mercy, whilst we have been just entering this or that cloud; but now in the review, we can say—and are bound in common honesty so' to do—" He both done. ALL things well." No, we would not have one thing tren the most trifling changed, or otherwise than it was or is. He hath verily “led us by a right way.” “Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning us; all hath come to pass and not one thing hath failed thereof." Thanks, eternal thanks, be to His great and glorious name ! "O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of face."

Beloved, we have been reviewing the nineteen years just past; what about the nineteen years next to come ? Ah, if thoughts crowd in upon the mind in regard to the one, how much more with respect to the other ! Nineteen

hence! The


that now trace these lines will be closed in the long sleep of death, the hand that now holds this pencil, and rapidly passes over this paper, will be mouldering in the grave; this “vile body will be crumbling into dust again. “ Naked came we out of our mother's womb, and naked shall we return thither." That we shall have done with the wilderness and all its turmoil, long ere another nineteen years shall have passed away, we cannot for a moment doubt. And it is our full belief of this, beloved—the deep conviction of how short our time is that prompts us to press upon you, as well as upon our own hearts and consciences, the word of exhortation. Oh, be it ours to consider, how soon-yea, how very, very soon—all present things, be they pleasurable or otherwise, will have passed away! Nineteen years, what are they? Supposing any of you were to live twice or thrice that period longer, what then? It would be but like a dream when sach years should have passed away.

“ We spend our years as a tale that is told.” Oh, why, then, should we be so seeking to make our nest here? Why wish to tabernacle in a world so fraught with sin and change? “This is not your rest, it is polluted.” Do not let us forget this. What is wealth or fame? Of what avail will either the one or the other be in a very few short years ? Would the possession of tens of thousands of the paltry gold of this poor, perishing world prolong our life one single moment, when the command shall be given, "Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live.” Did not one, in the near approach of death, once exclaim, “ Millions for moments !” Millions of money for moments of time! And oh, how many of those moments had been wasted, and how ruinous the consequences ! Oh, then, for that grace from on high, that shall "480 teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” We have yet, some of us at least, in all probability, a few years

left. Be it ours, through grace, to turn those few years to good account. Oh, to be found in active service. Not merely living upon the Lord, but to and for the Lord. Oh, for more grace that with greater readiness we may“ take up our cross and follow Him." May we know what it is to “rejoice if counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” And oh, to sit more loosely to earth. v

Having food and raiment, may we be therewith content.” For what is our life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Moreover, we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out.” When we shall have lain in the grave a few short weeks, there will be nothing to distinguish the actual body of the prince from that of the pauper. That skull may have belonged to the lord of the manor, or perhaps only to the humblest labourer on his estate. As far as human positions are concerned, it were a matter of utter indifference then !

The Lord help us to keep these things increasingly in view, and give us grace to remember that "

we are not our own; that we are bought with a price;" and may we be prompted and enabled thereby “ to glorify our Father which is in heaven.

Oh, for faith, and hope, and love, to be more and more in exercise. Oh, for grace to live as we shall wish we had lived, when we come to lay our heads upon our dying pillow. Oh, for a constant “ looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Oh, for “ our conversation (more and more) to be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour, who shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” And, when that blessed time shall come—and how soon it will come-how trifling-how less than nothing -shall appear all that now distresses our too sensitive minds, and agitates our too easily burdened hearts.

Dear, dear reader, the peace of God rule and reign in all our hearts. May we have grace from on high that we may increasingly bear and forbear. Seeing the mere span of time that is left us, and the near approach of eternity, may we live and love as brethren, remembering how soon we shall meet in our Father's house above, where all sin and all sorrow shall be done away; and where our ceaseless and uninterrupted and joyful employment will be to sing “ unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Blessed, blessed prospect ! “ A little while, and we shall soar,

“Far, far from all distress removed, To yonder promised land;

They know the God whom here they And meet our brethren gone before, Enthron'd at thy right hand.

Temptation, sickness, grief, and care,

Shall never gain admission there.' 1, Devonshire Buildings, Bedminster,

THE EDITOR. Bristol, April 26, 1859.



[ocr errors]

To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD,—thus I sing; and many precious songs Although not aware that I have either does He give me in the night; and seen your face or heard your voice, you though wearing the sackcloth, I never have become to me a brother beloved. put off the garment of praise. I am First, and for your encouragement, I sure you will both rejoice and give God think it meet to tell you this: It has the glory, in that He has fed, refreshed, pleased the Lord many times during the and comforted, one of His fatherless, last eighteen months, being the time of widows, and strangers, by your means. my having taken the Gospel Magazine, And having myself given to Him thanksgreatly to refresh my way-worn spirit giving and praise, it is meet I should by means of your pen ; and, secondly, thank also the instrument; I do 50 my sympathy has been strongly drawn heartily and affectionately. We may put towards you, as having myself been soon meet in our Father's house. _ I am brought through much (hut blessed) far on my pilgrimage ; one from Egypt, tribulation. Infirmity precludes my at- of more than forty years; and the many tendance on the public means, and often storms have told on the frail tabernacle, occasions much exercise to the inner and the work seems done. I rest in the man, in which I nevertheless have learned Lord, and desire to wait patiently for to glory, i.e., in infirmity, the power of Him. Christ being manifested through this

Every blessing attend you, is the ferinfirmity of the flesh; but,

vent prayor of your truly grateful “ The Lord my pasture doth prepare,

M. N. And feed me with a shepherd's care;"

Tunbridge Wells.



[ocr errors]

MY DEAR FRIENDS,—Having been re- woman, who could find no rest, nor cently appointed Incumbent of this peace, nor satisfaction elsewhere, have Parish, I purpose, as soon as possible, found it in such a place as that about to calling upon you at each of your houses, be devoted to the service of the Lord. in order that we may become personally Many anxious souls have indeed found acquainted.

it, to the joy and rejoicing of their Although I shall be ready at all times hearts, to be * none other but the house to answer any sick calls, I am compelled, of God, and the very gate of heaven.” for a short season, to defer my regular It was to the house of the Lord that house-to-house visiting, being so much Hannah (“ a woman of a sorrowful engaged at present, in collecting the spirit”) went; there, “in bitterness of remainder of the Funds for our New soul, she prayed unto the Lord, and Church, which will be commenced (D.v.) wept sore;” but afterwards " she went in a week or two.

her way, and did eat, and her counteWith God's blessing, when the Church nance was no more sad.” Again she is completed, Schools will likewise be returned to the house of the Lord, built.

saying, "For this child I prayed, and Meanwhile, I am happy to tell you, the Lord hath given me my petition that the Rev. H. Eland has kindly con- which I asked of Him.” “The Lord,” sented to the erection of a temporary said she, " killeth and maketh alive; He Church, which is now preparing, the bringeth down to the grave, and bring; entrance to which will be in Princes eth up; the Lord maketh poor, and Street. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese maketh rich ; He bringeth low, and lifthas expressed his approval, and has given eth up." It was to the house of the me permission to hold Divine Service in i Lord that the poor publican went, who, this temporary building, whilst the other on account of the weight and number is in course of erection.

of his transgressions, “would not so God willing, the said temporary Church much as cast his eyes unto heaven, but will be opened, Morning and Evening, smote upon his breast, and cried, God, on and after the Thanksgiving day, be merciful to me, a sinner;", but he the first Sunday in May. As the build. "went down to his house justified”ing is to accommodate between six and acquitted, forgiven, pardoned, fully and seven hundred persons, I shall hope to freely. It was to the house of God that see a goodly number of you present. King Hezekiah went, and “spread the There we may expect God's blessing, letter” which he had received from the inasmuch as He has said, “Where two wicked Rabshakeh," before the Lord;” or three are gathered together in my and there it was that he received the name, there am I in the midst of them.” Lord's assurance, that the evil with

In that temporary Church, I trust I which he had been threatened, should shall be privileged to speak, and you be not come to pass.

Such was the love permitted to hear, of " that Name which of the King of Israel for the house of is above every name." There I trust, God, that he exclaimed, “I was glad under the leading and teaching of the when they said unto me, let us go into Holy Ghost, many will be brought to the house of the Lord;" I had the feet of Jesus, who—and who alone- rather be a door-keeper in the house

, is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" of my God, than to dwell in the tents the only Way from sin, and distress, of wickedness.” And thousands and and destitution, to peace and happiness tens of thousands of poor, burdened, here-to heaven hereafter.

and broken-hearted sinners, have, in I sincerely hope, dear friends, that I their day and generation, found it good shall not in vain ask you to come to our to go to the house of the Lord. There temporary Church. Many a poor, restless, Jesus has shown Himself as the Sindissatisfied man, many a sin-burdened bearer, and the Burden-bearer. There

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »