« AnteriorContinuar »
"Instead of coming to Jesus as a guilty helpless worm, you wanted to come in a better character, bringing something in your hand worthy his acceptance, forgetting that it is said of him, "this man receiveth sinners." Even the attainments of other christians seemed as stumbling-blocks in your way, instead of hand posts to direct you, and your timorous heart would often say, 'if I could pray like 3uch an one, or if I could speak of spiritual things like such an one, or if I could live as holy a life as such an one, there would be hope for me; but I am straightened, dark and dumb; surely my very prayers are sinful and my religious exercises awful mockery;' nor could you perceive that the knowledge of these things proved the existence of spiritual life in your soul.
"How readily you then listened to Satan's devices; 'perhaps I am not elected, and then it is in vain for me to hope I shall be saved,' was the language of your unbelief; and you must needs scrutinize Jehovah's secret map of the road, before you ventured to take one step in it, although he promised to guide you with his eye, and protect you with his hand, all the journey of christian experience. Such were your scruples, misgivings, and doubts, until sovereign grace taught and constrained you to cast away your garments, and arise to come to Christ just as you were.
"Then were the drawings of his love powerfully felt, in the movings of spiritual desire after Chri3t alone, as the sinner's friend and portion, and a holy anxiety was created to draw near to his mercy-seat—plead the merits of his blood—and cling to hi3 cross for'everlasting salvation; and being convinced that there is no other name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be 3aved, you cast yourself at his feet, crying, "Lord, save me." Nevertheless, while grace was thus operating upon your heart, and bringing you to Christ, you were far from being emptied of self, and renouncing all confidence in the flesh; such is the latent propensity in man to cling to creature excellency, that while you were in the very act of confessing your guilt, and pleading for pardon, this old leaven was working within, infusing a twang of self-righteousness to the first devotional breathings of your soul.
"How often, my dear brother, did you detect yourself in placing that dependence upon devotional feelings which should rest only on the person and work of Christ, thus prizing the gift above the giver, and putting difficulties in your own way while coming to Christ. Repeated hindrances and disappointments proved the folly of your conduct, but nothing prevented its repetition until the Lord the Spirit led you into clearer apprehensions of the perfect work of Christ, and gave you such a view of his lovely person and official glories, as drew off your attention from every created object, to gaze with unqualified admiration on his uncreated beauties, and called forth the heartfelt exclamation, " he is altogether lovely."
"Was it in his house of prayer you thus saw the King in his beauty? do you not recollect the very place and time when his faithful herald proclaimed his truth, and set forth his everlasting love and faithfulness—the efficacy of his blood, and compassion of his heart—the prevalency of his intercession, and his ability to save to the uttermost? while the Holy Ghost accompanied the word with power divine to your soul, and you whispered with silent wonder, 'this is what I want.' Yea, while the suitableness of Christ was discovered by you, the evidences of sonship and of interest in him being faithfully pourtrayed and divinely sealed, encouraged you to sing, " he is my Lord and my God!"
"You could no longer refrain from coming to him, to obtain close intimacy with him; you had so many wants which he only could supply—so many maladies which he only could cure—and such a tribute of gratitude to pay, which to him only was due, that nothing but personal intercourse could satisfy you; and being encouraged by his kind invitations, you came to his footstool in your true character, with all your guilt and corruption, owned your helplessness and unworthiness, and looked up in holy longings—waited with ardent expectations, and sighed out your holy desire to be accepted in him, and saved by him with an everlasting salvation.
"But while you were thus coming, you experienced another attack from the prince of darkness, not unlike that which befel the young man whose father brought him to Christ, Luke ix. 42. "as he was yet coming, the devil threw him down and tare him." Did he not suggest that you had committed the unpardonable sin ? and that you had no ground to expect forgiveness ?— Did he not question the willingness of Christ to receive you ?—Did he not invent the idea of sinning away the day of grace, and thus tear your soul with groundless doubts and fears, until Jesus rebuked him and spake peace to your mind, revealing himself in his glorious mediatorial character, and smiling forth the willingness of his heart to receive all that come unto God by him, however guilty and vile.
"The first glimpse you obtained by faith of his lovely countenance, created more encouragement in your soul than all the efforts of ministers and friends ever imparted; and with the encouragement, strength was given to cast your sin-burthened soul upon his almighty arm, convinced of the fulness of his grace and the compassion of his heart: then it was you first tasted the sweetness of his promise, "I will give you rest." The tempter fled—hope revived—love glowed with holy warmth—and faith took his standing by the cross, to gain closer intimacy with that precious Saviour whose first smile had created so much of heaven in the soul."
We were much gratified in perusing these letters, and do most heartily recommend them to our young friends, with earnest prayers that the Holy Spirit may render them beneficial to their spiritual edification.
The Anniversary of Union Chapel, New Road, Sloane Street, Chelsea, will be held, by Divine permission, on Thursday, July 1, 1830, when Two Sermons will be preached; that in the Morning, by the Rev. Joseph Irons, of Camberwell; thatjin the Evening, by the Rev. R. H. Carne, A.B. of Exeter. Services to commence in the Morning at Eleven, and in the Evening at halfpast Six o'Clock.
Hampstead Anniversary, Thursday, July 15, 1830, when, Providence permitting, Three Sermons will.bePreached, at Bethel Chapel, Holly-bush Hill; in the Morning, by Mr. Joseph Irons, of Camberwell; in the Afternoon, by Mr. James Castleden, Minister of the Chapel; and in the Evening, by Mr. John Stevens, of Salem Chapel, Soho. Services to commence at Eleven, Three, and Six o'Clock.
In the Press, and will be Published by Mr. E. Palmer, in a few days,— "British Zion's Watch Tower in the Sardian Night;" being the Substance of Four Sermons on Psalm lxxxii. 5. By the Rev. Henry Cole, A. M.
Also, just ready, Part V. of the Rev. John Morison's Exposition of the Book of Psalms. The concluding Part will be got ready as early as possible.
Just Published—" The Sinlessness of Jesus, being the Substance of some Discourses delivered at Salem Chapel, on the words—" He knew no sin;" to which are annexed, Animadversions on the Rev. E. Irving's Doctrine of our Lord's Humanity. By the Rev. John Stevens.
Just Published—An Authentic Portrait of the late Rev. Robert Hawker, D. D. late Vicar of Charles, Plymouth; taken only a few months before his decease.
"WHAT AILETH THEE?"
How strange, my soul, thy state appears,
When first delivered from thy fears,
Thy vile propensities subdued,
I hop'd no evil more to see;
And made me cry, "What aileth thee?'
Thy weakness, vanity, and pride,
Were very soon disclos'd to me;
Alas ! alas !" What aileth thee?"
Thy great stupidity to see;
I must exclaim, " What aileth thee?"
Such darkness o'er thee seems to rise,
Becloud thy sun : with weeping eyes
How oft art thou depress'd and low,
No joy in any thing can see,
Well may I cry, "What aileth thee?"
These direful and distressing woes
Th" effect whereof so widely flows,—
ON THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
Not always the saints can rejoice,
They many dark days have to see; For doubts and despondings will rise,
To rob them, sweet Jesus, of thee. But Oh! did they never ta3te woe,
If nothing their pleasures could move, Then scarce their fond bosoms would know
How sweet is the voice of thy love.
By sorrow we know what is joy,
By darkness we know what is light; And 'tis when first the thick shadows
We think it most pure and most bright.
'Tis thus with the christian awhile,
To know at the end of his toil,
Though sadness encompass us round,
Yet still we are safe,, in our God, Where he loves is his chastening found,
His children must taste of his rod. 'Tis well though in darkness he hids,
Our sins and transgressions f reprove, For Oh ! when he ceases to chide,
How sweet is the voice of his love.
Nottingham. T. R.
•• There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY
GHOST : and these Three are One." Jvhu v. 7.
"Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
ON COMMUNION WITH GOD.
THIS is one of those privileges that all the children of God are admitted to, sooner or later, after they are made new creatures in Christ; but only those who are born again can understand the mystery, or adopt the language of the apostle, and say, "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." The -covenant union subsisting between Jehovah and his church, is the foundation of all the fellowship enjoyed; and from the boundless, bottomless ocean of eternal love, flows the soul-refreshing stream of communion with God. Not only are the saints the chosen, the called, the faithful, but additional blessings await them; as children they shall know and have communion with God as their Father; and when enabled by grace, all sovereign, rich, and free, to realize their relationship, they seek his face and favour; they confess their follies and implore forgiveness; they feel their wants and seek supplies; and as Jacob set up a pillar in the place where God talked with him: many pillars these precious sons of Zion set up, and are glad to refer to in seasons of temptation and trial. And as the bride, the Lamb's wife, sweet fellowship she often enjoys with her Lord and Husband; he having loved her and given himself for her, will never leave nor forsake her; his smiles make his saints happy, and his absence, like the setting suni leaves darkness behind. If he withdraws, it is an eclipse; you may see the sad perplexed situation of the spouse in the Cant. iii. her Lord had withdrawn—it is all night with her, and none could fill Vol. Vll.^-No 76. K
the place of this pearl of great price; but his love had warmed her heart— his beauties had fired her soul—his person had captivated all the powers of her mind—his righteousness was her adorning dress—his salvation had set her soul on high—his Spirit had created her anew in Christ Jesus, and much communion she had enjoyed. She had seen him as the rose of Sharon, as the lily of the valley, as the stately, fruitful, shade-affording apple-tree; into his banqueting-house he had brought her, unfurled his love banner over her. But now a most distressing change had occurred—a winter had succeeded all this summer; it is now sorrow, affliction, and darkness. But there is a love to her husband still burning in her bosom; seek him she must; lie any longer in bed she could not; she shakes herself from the dust, she puts on her beautiful garments again, and says, "I will seek him whom my soul loveth." But she seeks, and like many, cannot find him at first; she does not give over the pursuit, but goes into the city, into the streets and broad places; makes use of every means, walks in all the commands of her God, and at last succeeds in finding him. And no rest, or ease, or satisfaction could she find, until her Lord returned; like one who has lost a rich and precious jewel, will use every means for its recovery.
But we will here remark, that no communion can be enjoyed with God, unless there is an experimental, spiritual, and scriptural knowledge of him; and that in a Mediator, in the atonement, righteousness, and salvation of Jesus, we see the infinite wisdom and superabounding grace of God; and in the great and perfect work of God the Holy Ghost, performed and produced in every vessel of mercy, such are made meet to hold converse with the King of kings. He came down from heaven's high abode, and was clothed with his bride's feeble flesh, that he might not only redeem them from the rigorous curse of a holy broken law, but hold sweet communion with them.
Fellowship with God is not only an evidence of interest in all the great work of salvation, but it is essential to the happiness of those who are the sincere followers of the Lamb, who meet with many thorns and briers thickly growing in the pilgrim's path ; but the company and smiles of their best beloved friend smooths the rough and rugged road; the heavy burden is cheerfully borne, when the great burden-bearer is present to bear its heaviest part. And here may writer and reader stop and gaze, worship, and wonder, at the great Strength of Israel, the bearer of sin, of curse, of vindictive wrath, of hell, that once appeared like an awful threatening storm, which would have dealt destruction and damnation on all; but God, the Saviour and the shield, came between his chosen church and the ready to burst cloud, and wafted it away, and sin, the cause of the curse, he effectually removed; so that the cause and the consequence, Christ was made, he bore both away—was buried, never more to rise. O come then, and see the place where the Lord lay: and this stronger one than all bears up all his brethren, and suffers them not to sink when oppressed.