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above the holy rites he observes, and who can and does according to his own pleasure send by them that spiritual sanctification that renders ordinances precious to the true believer.
The presence of God as truly fills the church on earth with beauty and glory, as it does the church in heaven, although not to the same degree. For God is seen by the glorified part of the church without the use of ordinances, and the full blaze of his greatness in Christ fills it with ceaseless and uninterrupted pleasure. But here on earth the gracious and humbling presence of God has a crucifying effect on the lusts and passions of the heirs of mercy, and he embitters by his visitation the nature of sin, and renders the holiness of a spiritual state in Christ infinitely preferable to all things else beside. Not only does the visitation of God humble and correct his children on earth, but he promotes spiritually-mindedness and reverence among the saints.
When God appears in the church to execute the design of eternity, he shows the emptiness and criminality of the state of man by nature; but as he always draws near in Christ his Son, his infinite greatness is seen where his infinite goodness prevails to save his seed. Thus the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, is the converging centre in which there is a power of attraction to draw his brethren near to him. To go to God in our nature as a portion on and by which we are to live, reconciles the mind to the dispensation of sovereignty, and enkindles affection in the heart to God. How marvellous great is this act of unequalled condecension in our God !" Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth," "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Human poverty and disgrace is no barrier to divine favour; for grace reigns to dispense blessings on the needy, the wicked, and the helpless; but the end effected by it is to turn every one of the family of heaven away from unrighteousness, and to bring them to God. Thus, though God cannot be prevented in the accomplishment of the purpose of grace which he has revealed by the gospel, yet he by it is gaining for himself a great name.
The necessary consequence of knowing God in Christ as a holy satisfying portion, is an acknowledgment of it with unfeigned gratitude. God is not a tyrant stripping his creatures of their present possession, and then leaving of them in a state of destitution and woe. He is a loving and tender Father, but very jealous of his honour; and therefore, he will not suffer his praise to be conferred upon another. When God shews a man his real slate and character it is not to distress and torture him, but to convince him that it will not stand the test of examination in the court of equity, and to reveal to him the foundation on which a righteousness is provided for him, in which he will reign in life with him who wrought it for him. This reconciles the man to make a surrender of all his pretensions to personal worth before God, and the gift conferred on him awakes heart and tongue to sing the high promises of JehovahJesus; "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness: as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, arid as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that is sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." The worship of the living God is founded on the unity and perfection of his nature, according to the revelation he has made of himself in and through Jesus Christ. This high and holy place where God dwells, is also the centre in which the faith and hope of the true believer terminates; so that he who by faith lays hold on Christ approaches the triune God in him. Here faith carries her humble acknowledgments of gratitude to God for the unutterable love displayed to the church in and through Christ Jesus. The personal worth and acquirements of Immanuel are the riches of the church, and there is a sufficiency in his person and redemption to satisfy all his people. These are riches which can never Be forfeited, alienated, nor can any adversary rob us of them. God has laid up in Christ all the love of his heart toward his children, and it will never be diminished by their participation of it. The greatest act of God towards his family is his love to him, for all his other acts are but so many means to make it known to them; and as this love comes to us through Jesus Christ, it is "the love of God in Christ Jesus." Now in no one of the manifestations of it to the church does it reign and shine in greater splendour than in putting away of sin in and by Christ Jesus. All the openings of this love in the church by the Holy Ghost are the streams of it reaching the lost and ruined, to turn them to God by faith in Christ. The downward current of eternal love stays with man; he is the pivot on which it revolves, and, influenced by it, he rises to the great author and source of it—the Triune God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
(For the Spiritual Magazine. J
OBITUARY OF MRS. S. LEA.
It is written, Rev. xiv. 13. " Blessed are tne dead who die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow (not go before) them:" and our triune covenant Jehovah saith, Isa. lvii. 2. " He shall enter into (or gain) peace; they shall rest in their beds (of God's everlasting love), each one walking in (or before him, Christ, the king of Glory)
in his uprightness. It can, therefore, be of little importance when or where the dear children of the Lord quit this time-state, being blessed to sleep in Jesus. This afflicted saint died in the poor-house; hence, let God's poor and needy ones take. encouragement still to hope in him, who " though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor—a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs—that we through his poverty might be made rich," in faith, and heirs of that kingdom that cannot be moved. We have witnessed, that to them that believe "he is precious" in every state. That the Lord may bless these remarks to the reader is the earnest wish and prayer of the writer.
Mrs. Lea, the subject of the few following lines, at the time I first -knew her, was far advanced in years, greatly reduced in circumstances, and her constituiion much impaired by a long series of afflictions, •care, and trouble; she was a constant attendant on the means of grace, where she was privileged with hearing the gospel preached by several of our Lord's faithful ambassadors now in glory, in all its freeness, fulness, and purity, by which her soul was much comforted and established. During her last illness, which was long and severe, she was frequently visited by her christian friends, who invariably expressed the satisfaction and encouragement they found in her company; she was always glad to see them, and ready to give a reason of the hope she had in Christ, as her only Saviour, Lord, and Redeemer; and although, for many months confined to her bed, she never expressed a wish to be restored, or to have her circumstances altered. Christ, she said, was her food, comfort, and consolation, yea, her all and in all. She appeared to be particularly fond of hymns, especially those by Mr. Hart, and would often repeat many verses in conversation; her mind seemed well stored with them, and also with the scriptures, and this was of great use to her, with Christ her shield, to resist the devil. The Holy Spirit was pleased in a very gracious way to magnify his office, as the remembrancer of his people; so that while she was walking the dark valley of the shadow of death, she feared no evil, the Lord being her strength, light, peace, rest, and joy; daily drawing her mind up to himself from all things here below. She indeed, had her conversation, as the apostle *xhorts, in heaven. On Thursday, July 2, 1829, visiting her with some friends, I found her very ill, but sweetly supported by the omnipotent power of God, and rejoicing in full assurance of victory over all her enemies, internal, external, and infernal. On our entering The room, she expressed her satisfaction at seeing us, but she said she wanted to be gone, to leave this wretched world, and to be with Christ which is far better. She conversed with great freedom on the comfort and support the Lord afforded her; gave satisfactory answers to all questions relative to the work of grace in her soul, and with an emphasis (never to be forgotten by those who heard it) said she was determined to know nothing among men but Christ and him crucified. She then repeated, with raptures of joy, the following words:
Vol. VIII.—No. 100.] 3 0
"Bless the Lord, my soul, and raise
"He, my goodness, strength, and God,
"Though temptations seldom cease,
She spake much of the power and subtlety of Satan's temptations, and the way in which the Lord enabled her to resist them and bring her off more than conqueror ; again assuring us she had no hope but in Jesus, and was determined never to give up her hope in him. No; she exclaimed, having proved his faithfulness times without number, I cannot doubt it now I am so near the end of all my troubles. She repeated :—
"Yes, I shall soon be dying,
Many more verses of hymns and scripture she repeated; and we spent a short time in prayer with her. Being asked, if she had any particular request to make, her answer was, no; all she wanted was more of the Lord's sweet presence, and patience to wait his time, with resignation to his will in all things. She again spoke of the peace she enjoyed, and the union that subsisted between her and Jesus; the sweetness she found from the imputation of his righteousness to her; and the glory which should be revealed in her when she left this vale of tears, released from all sin, and the effects of it; no more to be tempted by Satan, or deceived by her own heart. She then took an affectionate leave of the friends, saying, she might never see them, but believed we should meet in glory, to part no more, and that she was ready to meet the King of terrors, his sting being taken away. With great joy and triumph in her soul, she exclaimed, 'my Lord, my thrice precious Saviour, Jesus, hath ransomed me from the power of the grave; he hath redeemed me from death; "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory! the sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law, which we have all broken, but our adored king Emanuel hath, as our surety, magnified and made it honourable. Jehovah's justice is for ever satisfied, God is wellpleased with me in Christ, the Lord my righteousness, my covenant head; therefore, eternal thanks, blessing, and praise be unto God, who giveth me the victory, over Satan, sin, the world, death, and the grave, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Thus died our dear sister in the Lord, in a good old age and full of days. She is taken away from the evil to come; and those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Amen and amen, saith my soul.
Birmingham, W. W.
The Christian's Hope of Mercy: a Funeral Discourse on the Death of the Rev. George Burder, delivered at Fetter Lane Meeting, on Lord's Day, June 10, 1832. By Joseph Fletcher, D.D. To which is added, the Address at the Interment, June 5, 1832. By Robert Winter, D. D. 8vo. pp. 48. London, Westley and Davis.
It hath now become so general for a funeral discourse and a memoir, and oft-times too a posthumous volume to follow the decease of any one who occupies a more elevated situation than his fellows, that his setting seems considered to have been in gloom, which does not receive these gradual accompaniments. That much edification may not UDfrequently result from an improvement of the death of an individual we are quite willing to admit; but when, as is now the case, it is deemed a necessary honour, and when be there never so little that is pleasing attending the departure of the deceased, the Preacher is forced to strain his imagination, and to exert his utmost abilities to wreath an oration, in which shall be found adulation sufficient for the demand of the survivors, and wonders sufficient to excite the feelings of his auditory: then, we contend, that the custom becomes a stumbling-block, the removal of which cannot be too quickly effected.
Not because George Burder was one of the founders or earliest promoters of the London Missionary Society, of the Religious Tract Society, and a host of other similar institutions; not because he was gratuitous secretary to the one, and contributor to the other; not because he was so long editor of the Evangelical Magazine is he esteemed by us:—and that the esteem we entertain for him is as much greater in quantity as it is purer in degree than the boasted affection of his flatterers we feel confident—our esteem for him has not been gained by these magnitudinous concerns—which while they sound a man's praise loudly through the earth have been productive but of little benefit, and while they divert his attention and his energies to the world's verge, too frequently lessen and enervate his care of what should more imperatively demand the best prayerful exertion of a gospel minister, and that in his own flock. No! the memory of George Burder is endeared to us, inasmuch as we feel and are assured that he was a disciple of the Lord we loved, and that he depended only and altogether for salvation upon the righteousness and atonement of Christ.