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widow did, whose faith would no denial take. Let us also come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
January, 1831. A COUNTRY MINISTER.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
SOMG FURTHER THOUGHTS ON SUPRALAPSARIAN
In giving further thoughts on supralapsarian grace, I beg to be understood that I do not in the least mean to set aside the redemption-work of our dear redeeming Friend: for had he not come and "finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness," his beloved Hephzibah, however he might have delighted in her by viewing her arrayed in his own personal glories and excellencies, yet she could never have reached the palace of the King, her Lord and Husband, had he not as the wise Physician healed her of her malady, washed her from her pollution in his own most precious blood, stripped her of her rags, and clothed her in the garments of salvation, meetened her for the society she was predestinated unto, fitting her in every respect to dwell in the mansions of eternal delight. For Hephzibah had fallen so low towards the gates of damnation, that she could not help herself, neither was desirous for any to help her; it is said, she was " dead in trespasses and sins," and had not her Lord and Husband come down to her relief, she must have perished in her sins; but all glory to his name, he came to seek and to save that which was lost. There was no heart to sympathize, no eye to pity, no arm to save—but his. Jesus having married the church above the fall, would sooner die than loss his church by the fall. Yes, "he loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." He died the just for the unjust to bring her to God, or the church must have laid in prison under the just condemnation of a righteous law to all eternity, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jesus Christ was the first of all God's works, the head and end of wisdom's plan. He dwelt in the bosom of Jehovah before all worlds, as Jehovah's chief delight, basking in the full glories of love divine, beholding the eternal Father's everlasting decrees, his work of creation, providence, and grace, with all the designs of infinite wisdom, passed as it were before him, with all the wonders of his love, the power of his arm, and majesty and grandeur of his kingdom. This was supralapsarian grace, or grace above the consideration of the fall, that elected, adopted, and united the created nature of Jesus to a person in Deity, to behold such scenes unfolded. The vast love of the eternal Jehovah towards this exalted nature could have no reference whatever to a lapsed state, for he must of consequence remain untainted by reason of the divine personality he sustained. Our nature in Christ, therefore, stood above any possibility of falling, whatever Mr. Irving might say to the contrary.
The church also must come under the same denomination of love, with Christ, as it regards supralapsarian grace; for Christ himself acknowledgeth in his prayer, when he aaid, "thou hast loved them, Father, as thou hast loved me." Also, when the church was in vision shewn to the God-man before the world was, she appeared in the personal glories and dignities of the Son of God. It was not the redemption glories he became enamoured with, in the partner of his throne, but the supercelestial vestments; hear him saying, Cant. iv. 9. "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thy eyes, with one chain of thy neck; how fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse ; how much better is thy love than wine." Blessings on him he has not changed his mind since; "for he is of one mind, and none can turn him; he is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." 1 love to connect his yesterday's conduct (or before the world was) with to-day's, (or, while the world lasts,) and for ever, (when this world shall have passed away). He was God's first-born Son; Jehovah possessed him in the beginning of his way; he was set up from everlasting; he is not an eternal creature, but he is an eternal Person. It does not follow, because his created nature existed before the world was, that it had no beginning; we have no reason to doubt that angels and devils existed before this world was, yet nobody thinks they are eternal creatures. O my friends in Jesus, acknowledge him to be God's Alpha as you do his Omega, you will not honour him too much. Christ married the church before this world was made; go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Jesus with the crown wherewith he was crowned in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart—hear what he saith, "Turn, ye backsliding children, for I am married unto you:" again, "Thy Maker is thy Husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, the God of the whole earth shall he be called." The love union, therefore, was above and before the consideration of a fallen lapsed state.
The glory Christ had with the Father before the world was, was not a redemption glory. The redemption work which he accomplished, will add immense diadems to his crown, and he is worthy to wear them. "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, and riches, and strength, be unto him for ever and ever, hallelujah;" and let all the redeemed say and repeat their never ending amen. But in his humiliation day, hear his prayer—" Now, O Father, glorify thou me, with thine ownself, with the glory I had with thee before the world was." Again—" Father, I will, that those also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." So we have a promise from heaven, that Jesus's prayer shall be answered, in his church being- called up to see his ancient glory, or the glory of supralapsarian grace.
When all the ransomed are gathered in and brought home—when all the honours of a Saviour are consummated, and all the triumphs of the cross realized—when the grandeur of the resurrection morn shall have taken place—when the thousand years reign on the earth shall be finished—when the redemption chorus shall be completed— when the kingdom of saints shall be given up to the Father, and God be all in all—then, God shall display new scenes of bliss, to make our joys complete; unfolding the grandeur of his perfections in all his transcendent glories to an adoring host of angels and saints, with Jesus as their Head, and Medium, Conductor, Leader, Husband, King. Then in chanting immortal praises, Christ will lead the song, with ten thousand smiles on his dear face, and love in every smile—the effect of supralapsarian grace.
The glories of Deity will unfold so rapid, the pleasures so transcendency great, and heightened by every opening page, (perhaps) there will be scarce a moment to reflect on what is past, and being swallowed up by the present ineffable joy, the future will seem lost also in one eternal now, for ever and as yet, for ever and as yet. But we shall not lose sight of our best beloved Friend and Husband, for he will constantly, perpetually, never endingly be introducing his church to unspeakable regions of glory to come—and all the effect of supralapsarian grace.
Higher and higher still will Jesus escort his beloved spouse, nor ever will reach the summit of bliss. Infinity being above all comprehension, which finite minds can never, never grasp. God will remain the same incomprehensible, when millions of ages shall have rolled away, and creatures remain creatures. O my friends, who have a hope of immortality glowing in your bosoms, grounded on scripture testimony as the truth is in Jesus, what value can you set on it— what are the baubles of time—what are the pleasures of sense—what are the distinctions among men—what is the world—what is life, with all that is called good or great, compared with an interest in supralapsarian grace.
Grafton Street, July, 1830. A. B.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Dear Sir,
In reading your address to your Correspondents, for your February Number, I very much admired the affectionate and impartial way you addressed yourself to a Mr. L. who it seems is passing through the furnace of affliction. Indeed, Sir, I feel a glow of affection, and an heart of sympathy towards every vessel of mercy, when I hear it is in storms of persecution, while sailing over the sea of this ternpestuous world : and I rejoice, and that for two reasons—first, because I believe, that though storms of persecution arise, and winds of error blow and beat upon them, insomuch that they are full of trouble, and feel ready to sink, yet Jesus sits at the helm, and will be sure to guide each safe to the haven of everlasting repose. Secondly, (as you justly observe) that the Lord frequently makes him the most useful in the vineyard, who has been called by God to pass through the furnace. Such men as these, that have been brought through fire and water into a wealthy place of gospel liberty, Ps. lxvi. 12. can indeed best declare to the honour of God how they have been delivered " from the noise of archers in the place of drawing water, and are fit subjects to rehearse the righteous act3 of the Lord," Judges v. 11. Such know, from painful experience, what the bondage of the law is, and can sympathize with those of the family of God who are now feeling the same, and under divine teaching they can point out the difference between the killing letter, and the Spirit which giveth life; between truth and error, light and darkness; between the precious and the vile ; and shew from the word of grace, fearless of the frowns of mortals, to whom the promised blessings, which is eternal life, belong, and to whom they do not; such men as these will not send poor, distressed, self-condemned sinners to Moses for help.
"But rightly will the word divide,
Again ; you observe that we live in a day of great profession. This, Sir, is a truth ; but is a mere profession calculated to ease a troubled mind, or give the least solid comfort to a poor tempted sinner? I think you will cordially agree with me, when I say, I know it will not. I have had a long experience of this ; six years did I sit under what thousands call gospel, five years in church fellowship, and we were supplied by a variety of ministers, some few from the country, and a number from the academy; but never did I hear any one in an experimental way describe what the bondage of the law is, or what a poor sinner feels when arraigned at the bar of divine justice; and if they knew nothing of this, you may be sure they knew nothing experimentally what the liberty of the everlasting gospel is. If they knew nothing of being killed by the law, it is impossible for them to know any thing what it is to be made alive. If they knew nothing of being wounded, they could not know any thing of the healing virtue which the gospel affords to those who are brought to feel the need of it. What I suffered in soul affliction those six years, no tongue can fully express; the limits of this paper will not allow me to enlarge. With every sentiment of regard,
I am, dear Sir, your's,
Great Wakiuy. W. W P.
THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DELINEATED UPON EVANGELICAL PRINCIPLES.
NINTH ESSAY. The more we examine the holy scriptures, the more forcibly are we convinced that christianity is holy in its nature and tendency. If the scheme of grace and wisdom revealed in the holy volume is not beneficial to the heirs of grace, it cannot be a disclosure of mercy and truth from God to man, but it is a spiritual manifestation of the living Jehovah in the person of his Son ; and it is productive of great good to the sinner, and much glory to his great name. In all the ways of God he is shewing the absolute perfection and independency of his being, together with his sovereignty over the creatures that he has formed. There is no confusion in the arrangement of divine wisdom, nor in the execution of it. The nature of the doctrines of the gospel are misconceived by many persons, or they would not misrepresent them as they do, nor employ such arguments as they do to seduce weak minds from that attention to them which they merit from all that fear the Lord. By the light of truth we see our way to God, and by the influence of it we are sanctified to worship him without any confidence in the flesh. In proportion as the mind is enriched by the Spirit of truth, we are separated increasingly from the evil of the world. It cannot be otherwise; for by it we learn that the good will of God towards his people is made known to them in the use of the means which he has chosen for them to use, and by which he is training them for an eternal state of glory. The eternal God of love is manifesting his delight in his people as they are comprehended in the person of his Son ; and, as we perceive that we are humbled to take our station at the feet of the great Redeemer, and learn of him, so as to become before men in a practical manner what we really are in his judgment. There are uumerous theoretical professors of the gospel who are as ignorant of the nature and genius of the things which they believe as an Egyptian or a Chinese. Such persons often cause the ways of God to be evil spoken of; because while they pretend to be religious there is no principle of spiritual life and fruitfulness in their hearts, and when they obtain the end for which at first they clothed themselves in the garments of eternal sanctity, they can as easily put off the dress which they have worn as they thoughtlessly decked themselves without knowing of the worth and excellency of true godliness. But he who is arrayed in the garment of salvation, has within him a vital spring of spiritual activity, which,