« AnteriorContinuar »
staining from the appearance of evil, as well as noting the garments spotted by the flesh." The interest and happiness of the church of God is best promoted by us when we strictly regard those things which pertain to life and godliness. The junior branches of the family of God are interested in what their elder brethren say and do. Example is a very powerful method to impart instruction: when they behold their senior brethren resigning upon principle all unrighteous conduct, conviction will seize their minds, and they will imitate their conduct. If a prudent and discreet man is in the habit of conducting himself in an upright manner before his household, so that they can find no just occasion to cloak their crimes, and to make his imperfection a covering for their wickedness, how much more important it is that every genuine disciple of the Son should walk before the household of faith, so that there may not be in him any occasion for stumbling. Our connexion with Christ in the love of God is a potent reason why we should live to the glory of Him who died and rose again.
To be preserved from grieving of the holy brethren is truly desirable, and we shall find occasion to be truly thankful to the Almighty for it. The great Redeemer has said of those who offend his little ones, "it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he cast into the sea." If the external peace of the church depencs upon the consistent spirit and temper of the professors of christianiy, every considerate christian will cheerfully pursue the practice of tlpse things that will preserve uninterrupted the tranquillity of the houselold of faith. It must ever be a pleasant thing to every just man to reider the brethren of the great Redeemer happy. The venerable Johrsaid, "i have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in the tuth." Such was the nature of primitive christianity; and there is noalteration in it, it remains the same; if there is any change, it if in the professors of it. I know not what to think of that professor o christianity who, knowing that his conduct is offensive to his brethren, yet he retains his evil ways; I am tempted to believe that siih a man must think his brethren are mistaken, or he would surely attain from the practice of those things which wound their minds, and which break their peace. There has never been an instance kiown of any man striving to promote the happiness of the church, bu that God has always rewarded him an hundred-fold in his bosom.
The adversaries of the church of God are never so ruch perplexed and disturbed as they are when the saints maintain inimpaired the unity of the Spirit. By such conduct they are ke»t at a distance: for whatever is thus blended together in one centre, the several parts of it partake of the strength of the whole. Those ro'n who ignorantly or wickedly oppose the interest of truth, general/ commence their attack upon some of the vulnerable parts of it, and they strive to make a perfect conquest over it, by alarming 3d scattering of its friends. But a steady regard for the interests c truth, will put the most inveterate enemy to a stand, and the uni'd brethren of Jesus will truly appear, " Terrible as an army with anners." No scheme contrived against the church of the living God will ever prevail, for he will scatter and bring to nought their purpose, and he will comfort and support his friends. The omniscient Lord is privy to all the plots laid by the wicked against his subjects, and he also is intimately acquainted with the heart of his people, and will always commend their loyal conduct to him when they strive together for the faith of the gospel. There is not a petition breathed by them but what he hears and regards; nor can there be a single action of the life that is designed to promote agreement amongst his people, but what he approves. To be like-minded with the Son of God, is a great favour; to be interested in the promotion of his kingdom upon earth, and for his glory to be the great end of our being, is worth living for; but those who are really his people are thus distinguished by their eternal Saviour. The happiness of the church is promoted, and she is making increase to the edifying of herself in love. In the present age of the church, the principles of truth are not regarded in the way that they should be. We have strangely mixed the church and the world together, and there is so much of the temper of worldly men seen in the disciples of Christ, that it is for a lamentation worldly policy is introduced into the society of the just, and the man who has honesty enough to protest against it, is now by many people considered to be an enemy to peace. I never wish to possess that peace which is obtained by such paltry means, which are opposed both to the claims of the law and to the spirituality of the gospel. As far as we are made acquainted with the nature and essence of the gospel, it is our duty to adopt every means that can advance the purity and happiness of the church of God. But qe must ever remember, that peace is not present when purity is absent: we may as well expect that the greatest contradiction in nature will unite together, as to look for one where the other is not found. The people of God are a holy people, therefore the principle of life that they received from Christ in the day of their spiritual birth is incorruptible, although numerous events will take place to damp the fervour of their spiritual joys.
Justice may be illustrated as the fulfilling of the duties of the relations subsisting between God and man. If this definition of justice is correct, it will suit my present purpose to shew that there is a fitness of wisdom between the means used and the end to be accomplished by them. For example, that heavenly relationship to which God has sovereignly adopted his people in Christ, is made known to them by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost; this brings them vitally into the most near and honourable affinity to him, that it is consistent with his divine perfection and independency to raise them unto, and they are hereby particularly distinguished by and for him. The numerous duties mentioned above are not mere matters of convenience, but the performance of them is the filling up the character in a consistent manner peculiar to the holy and honourable relationship to which they were eternally adopted. Throughout the whole plan of grace that God has wisely adopted to execute his counsel, and to collect his children into one family, under one Head and Lord, his perfection is peculiarly displayed, and his glory is the first cause and the last end of all his holy appointments in grace, and therefore holy duties arising out of this principle, is a fulfilment of the relationship subsisting. Jehovah imparts his rich grace to the needy sinner, and he uses it in that way which God has justly precribed. The union subsisting between God and his church in Christ his Son is so comprehensive, that we cannot enter upon any part of our religious services but this principle is that upon which we meet in love, and holy fellowship is enjoyed with God who is our portion and everlasting heritage. It is not to be supposed that the recipient of divine favour is equal with God who extends his favour to them on the election through the redemption of Christ. No. But that Jehovah reveals this act of his eternal mind to his children, and he sanctifies them to believe their adoption in Christ to eternal glory. The portion which was settled upon the church before the world began, is given to her in time, and the necessary consequence of it is, the genuine christian gives himself voluntarily to God as his own peculiar portion. By this means God most graciously condescends to accomplish his own plan of wisdom, and in the sanctified church his most excellent name is glorified.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Sir,
I regret having occasion to trouble you again on a subject, which I had hoped was settled between me and W. A. M. but just as this writer had fainted in the field, behold another man of valour comes forth to vindicate the cause of his fallen friend, and ' with a few words,' (filling nearly seven pages) to cut off the head of poor Terio; but, alas! for his friend and for his cause, he fighteth as " one that beateth the air."
I occupy the same ground as I did at first, Sir, opposing as unscriptural the sentiments advanced by W. A. M. and which T. E. R. endeavours to maintain. You will recollect, Sir, that I objected to the sentiment, that' God permits men to sin in order to punish them for it, that his judgment may be more signally displayed ;' and, 'rejoicing that there is a hell;' and afterwards asserting, that ' sin was included in the plan of creation, providence, and grace.'
Now, Sir, that in the whole range of Christendom men should be found to assert and to maintain such sentiments as these, is to me a most marvellous thing; and Terio cannot refrain from expressing his deep regret that T. E. R. should have spent his time in rifling the sacred pages in order to prop up such unscriptural and unwarrantable sentiments. The bible is a book very precious to Terio, and it grieveth him to the heart that such smoky effusions of presumptive ideas should be blown upon the face of divine truth.
To every sentence of the inspired volume, Terio assents; and if a sentence can be presented from the volume of the book, that' God permits men to sin in order to punish them for it;' that either patriarchs, prophets, or apostles, ' rejoiced that there is a hell;' or asserted that ' sm was included in the plan of creation, providence, and grace,' Terio will humbly and most readily acquiesce ; but until this is done, he rejects the sentiments a3 a most daring violation of holy writ.
The Lord, foreseeing how the Jews would obstinately and wilfully reject Christ, marked it down in prophecy; but yet this prediction was no cause of their unbelief; and surely, (as an old writer says) 'when men close their eyes wilfully, and say they will not see, it is just with God to close their eyes judicially, and say, they shall not see.' 'God's act of hardening and blinding was consequential upon their sinning;' but T. E. R. puts this act of God in blinding the eyes of the perverse Jews on his pre-determination or purpose, without any regard to their obstinate rejection of Messiah ; but that blindness upon the minds of the Jews, in which they rejected Christ, Paul imputes to the devil, " the God of this world,' 2 Cor. iv. 4.
Terio would take the liberty to suggest to T. E. R. the propriety of examining and " comparing spiritual things with spiritual," lest he should set himself down too soon as an oracle of infallibility.
T. E. R. says, that the weepings of Immanuel were marks of' his natural affection.' I should be glad, Sir, if some of Immanuel's professed disciples manifested a little more ' natural affection.' But 'natural affection,' or any thing else, will do for an evasive shift of argument for some folks, when driven into a corner.
Was it • natural affection,' ' entirely irrespective of the spiritual welfare' of the soul, that Abram cried, " 0 that Ishmael might live before thee?" Was it ' natural affection, entirely irrespective of the spiritual welfare' of the Israelites, that prompted Moses to exclaim, " 0 that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end?" Was it • natural affection, irrespective of the spiritual welfare' of the Jews, that Paul, their countryman, when writing to the church at Rome, says, " Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved?" Was it ' natural affection, irrespective of their spiritual welfare,' that the dying Jesus supplicated for his murderers ?" Father, forgive them."
But T. E. R. will say, ' Jesus did not pray for all sinners.' Where has Terio said that Christ did pray for all sinners? Terio is confident, that if Christ had prayed and died for all sinners, then all sinners would have been saved. But Terio has said, and Terio repeats, that' Jesus wept over sinners—prayed for sinners—died for sinners;' and let T. E. R. contradict the assertion if he can, or if he dare.
If Terio had said, 'Jesus wept over all sinners—prayed for all
Vol. VII.—No. 79. 2 B
sinners— died for all sinners, then T. E. R. might have honestly flew at the bait, and run with the hook in his lip ; but Terio knows better.
To conclude, Sir, (for surely your patience, and that of your readers, must be exhausted on the subject,) let me express a hope, that ere long T. E. R. will cower down from his lofty conjectural flights into the valley of humiliation, and no more attempt to soar "above that which is written." 1 most gladly embrace this (as probably) the last opportunity, Sir, of expressing how much gratified I am with the matter generally introduced into the " Saint's Treasury;" and beseeching the Lord Jesus to smile upon and bless your work of faith and labour of love, for the promotion of Zion's prosperity,
I am, Sir,
Most truly your's,
Walt/tarn Abbey, Sept. 10, 1830. "" Terio
HINT TO CORRESPONDENTS.
In this day of awful departure from primitive truth, when the prevailing errors of Socinianism, Arminianism, Baxterianism, &c. increasingly abound, ought not orthodox ministers, and other persons who are attached to the doctrines of the reformation, form themselves into an association for the better and more extensive diffusion of those holy and invaluable principles? And as union is strength, it is evident, much might be done by uniting together in a body. If" any of your numerous Correspondents will give their candid opinion hereon, and forward any plan or plans likely to carry this desirable object into execution, it will be highly esteemed by
Your's in the everlasting gospel,
Firm In The Truth.
The Rev. Mr. Cox, late of Reading, has accepted an invitation, and commenced his labours, as Pastor of the Particular Baptist Church, at Woolwich Kent.'
The Rev. Roger Hitchcock, late of Andover, has accepted the Pastoral office over the Particular Baptist Church, at Devizes, Wilts.
The Rev. John Bailey, late Pastor of the Baptist Church, meeting in Zoar Chapel, Alie Street, Goodman's Fields, departed this life, at his residence, Wandsworth: His Funeral Sermon was preached by the Rev John Sthvens, to an overflowing congregation, on Sunday, Oct. 24, 1830 • the Independent Chapel at Wandsworth, was kindly lent on the occasion.
In the press, " The Responsibility, the Divine Assistance, and the Glorious Reward, of the Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ: a Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. T. D. Reynolds. By I. Mann, A. M.'