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His righteousness wouldst thou receive?
Then learn to renounce all thy own.
Is more than mere notion or whim:
He draws life and virtue from him."
Having attempted to furnish a faint outline of the constitution of vital christianity, as founded upon the base of divine revelation, what remains, but to congratulate those that are by grace separated from their former selves and separated from an ungodly world, and constituted members of the body mystical,—" heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." "Happy art thou, O (ye spiritual) Israel; who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord!" How infinite the lovingkindness of the Lord thy God, in having made known unto you as "the heirs of promise," the exceeding riches of his grace, and conferred on you dignities and privileges, far beyond what angels enjoy; for, while he passes by angels, cherubim and seraphim, who never sinned, nor refused to do his bidding, he deigns to call a traitor "his son," a rebellious worm " his child," and an apostate "wellbeloved." "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath conferred upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now, beloved, are we the sons of God ; but it doth not yet appear what we shall be." But of this we are assured, by God's most holy word, that when "the Lord shall be revealed from heaven, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God," to reign on the renovated earth, and in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously, (Isa. xxiv. 23.) "we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness," (Isa. Ixv. 17. 2 Peter iii. 13.) and shall " be made kings and priests unto our God, and we shall reign on the earth!" Rev. x. 5.
O ye privileged saints of the Most High God! appreciate your privileges,—consider well the dignity of the character you sustain—and let not the evanid trifles of time, the short-lived pleasures of sense, retard your high pursuits, nor lead you to lightly esteem your profession of Christ. In proportion as you honour him, will he honour you. It is a fact borne out by the scriptures of truth, and confirmed by the experience of the saints, that their salvation depends on the obedience of Christ; but much of the comforts and joys of that salvation depends on their obedience to Christ. The "gospel of our salvation" no where holds out a conditional salvation, but it does proclaim conditional comfort to the people of God. As a strong incentive to watchfulness on the part of the church be it remembered, that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh ; " therefore I say unto you, watch!" Soon our spiritual Cyrus will appear to emancipate his captive church from mystic Babylon, and to execute judgment on her oppressors. The christian alone can contemplate the solemnities of that day without dread; to him it will be a day of anticipated recompence; but, (O, what a sad reverse !) to the ungodly it will indeed be a day of fearful indignation: "the day of vengeance is in his heart, and the year of his redeemed" is not far distant: and when the terrible judgments of Jehovah are abroad in the earth, and the world deluged with fire, it will be only the man interested in Christ, and participating in the blessedness of the " first resurrection," that will be able to stand on the " wreck of matter;" and
"The threatening universe defy
June 10, 1830. T. W. H.
[The Editors with pleasure insert the following explanatory note: their readers will recollect the paragraph on the wrapper of last month's Number, to which this is a perfect and satisfactory reply; they could with difficulty bring themselves to believe that any one of their correspondents would be guilty of the impropriety which seemed to attach to him, and they arc much pleased he is able to furnish so clear an explanation.]
A NOTE TO THE EDITOR OF THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE. Mr. Editor,
I Have been much surprised by reading the notice made on the cover of your Magazine for this month, respecting the letter sent you for insertion therein, which appears to be the production of another, rather than the person, the initials of whose name are thereto annexed ; but the circumstance is as follows :—
The letter written (which appears to be transcribed from the works of our departed and esteemed sister in Christ, Mrs. S. Pearson,) was sent by " a christian friend (near Devizes) to a fellow-traveller to Zion," near this place, who admiring the soundness of its doctrines, and the sweet simplicity of its style, thought it might prove profitable to others of the Lord's family, and being mixed with other matter of a private nature, without any intimation of its being the production of another, and never having seen it before, desired me to copy the same, and forward with other communications I was sending for insertion in your Miscellany, which I did without hesitation, and without the knowledge of the writer (or rather transcriber) thereof, (who I find was unacquainted with the circumstance of his communication being made public.) I therefore lake this opportunity on behalf of myself, and the person at whose request it was sent to you, of expressing our regret at the circumstance, by which the work of so eminent and faithful a servant of Christ, has thus quite unintentionally stolen its way to the public under this fictitious name, and doubt not but the publisher will, under these circumstances, excuse the unintended fraud, under our positive assurance of its being done without our having the least acquaintance with the real author, and for no other desire than the glory of God in the comfort of his church. I remain, your's in the bonds of the gospel,
MUclielmersh,July,6,mti. . T. E. R.
(For the Spirihial Magazine.)
Having lately been visited with affliction in my own person, and at the same time in that of the dear partner of my life, I lay musing on my bed, on the why and the wherefore,—writing bitter things against myself—almost inclined to fear that all I had experienced of the love of Christ was a strong delusion—when suddenly methought I found myself in a spacious court of justice.
The Judge, with a countenance majestic and awful beyond description, was seated on a throne immediately opposite the bar at which I stood; and whilst I was regarding with astonishment the various personages around, I thought Reason stood up as my counsel, and thus addressed the court in my behalf—' Behold, now, I have ordered my cause, and filled my mouth with arguments; I know that he shall be justified ; shew me wherefore he contendest with him.'
Instantly Conscience rose, and turning a severe countenance towards me, said,' Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God? How hast thou dared to put in such a plea? Hast thou not been guilty of idolatry—of unbelief—of pride—of worldly-mindedness—of neglect of duties—in short, what hast thou not been guilty of?'
And I juat then observed Moses exhibiting the decalogue, under which was written, 'This do, and thou shalt live ;'—he spake not, but I could perceive, by his stern and forbidding aspect, there was nothing to hope for from him.
At this moment there arose, at my right hand, a huge and terrific monster, of a non-descript form, whom I recognized as the " accuser of the brethren." He gloated on me with an air of savage triumph, and from a long catalogue which he held in his hand, brought forward the following charges against me—' He was born in sin, and shapen in iniquity,—he hath gone astray from the womb speaking lies—he hath loved darkness rather than light—he hath resisted the Spirit—he hath broken all the commandments—he is proud, selfwilled, vain-glorious, and uncharitable—he hath left his first love— he hath sinned against light and knowledge:—he is a hypocrite.— But why need I enumerate the thousandth part of the charges I have against him? see the catalogue his own conscience has exhibited of his crimes. And now, look at him—observe that gew-gaw, manycoloured tinselled garb of his own righteousness—that thing of shreds and patches in which he has decked himself, in the vain imagination of concealing from view the filthy garments of his natural corruption, but which are, notwithstanding, clearly perceptible, and which evidently mark him as my own—in short, mine he is, and here I claim him.'
And now, I verily thought I must have fallen into the clutches of my adversary, for, though I knew him to be the father of lies, I felt convicted that what he had said of me was but too true. Conscience could not assist me—my advocate Reason, too, was dumb—Moses had abated nothing of his severity — I dared not lift my eyes to the Judge, and looked for nothing but to be consigned to the tender mercies of my accuser;—when lo! a voice was heard from one who stood at the right hand of the Judge, saying, in a tone of authority, 'Get thee hence, Satan; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?' In an instant, to my inexpressible surprize and relief, the tempter coiled himself up, and vanished through a trap-door in the floor of the court. I turned me, to see from whom the command proceeded, when, from certain nail-prints which I perceived in his hands and his feet, I knew he could be none other than the Angel of the Covenant. 'Strip him,' he continued to the officers of the court. 'Take away the filthy garments from him, and I will clothe him with change of raiment.' Immediately the work of demolition began, and my cobweb finery was soon reduced to a thousand atoms, and given to the winds of heaven; but in the attempt to divest me of the filthy garment of corruption, it was found that I had worn it so long, (indeed it has been in the family for many, many ages,) and it stuck so close, that it seemed to be part and parcel of my very self, and though the officers of justice, in the effort, rent away pieces of my flesh, it could not be wholly removed. But behold, our dear Lord himself, with his own arm threw around me a spacious robe of fine linen, clean and white, and in that gracious act displayed to my view his wounded side, and O! what inconceivable rapture did that sight communicate.
And now, how greatly was the scene changed; Conscsence had rolled up his scroll of accusations, and, in distinct characters, on a fair white tablet, displayed, " peace by the blood of the covenant;" even Moses looked less austere. But O the indescribable grace, and love, and condescension, that shone forth in the countenance of the compassionate Redeemer, it would, melhought, have melted a heart of stone.
The Judge, then, himself, in the most benign accents thus addressed me:—" My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If my children forsake my law, and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. There is, therefore, now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Whilst the Judge was proceeding in this gracious strain, and I was lost in astonishment, gratitude, and praise, my attendant entered the room, and dispelled the reverie.
THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DELINEATED UPON EVAN-
There is no employment that is so sweet and profitable as those exercises are in which the christian is engaged, beneath the protection of the cross, and in the light of the Redeemer's countenance. Then we enter more into the spirit of the dispensation under which we live, and we bear an external conformity to the Head of the church. The favour of God is exceedingly great to us, by which we who are so far from him by nature, are exalted, in the person of his Son Jesus Christ, above the condemnation of the law; and we are also blessed in him with a legal title to eternal life. The greater attention we pay to the gospel dispensation, under the ministration of the Spirit, we shall be better prepared to discharge the numerous duties which are imperatively binding upon us, both to Christ and his church.
It is naturally impossible that there should be any spiritual religion apart from the person of Christ, the Son of God; and it is equally certain, that he is constituted, by the will of God, the root of the spiritual family which is to live for ever in the heavenly world. Whenever we look at the saints as members of the same mystical body, we do well to keep in view the centre where they are all united and for ever perfected. In every political body there is a centre of union, and in the church of the living God the Lord Jesus Christ is that uniting Head, in whom the whole household of faith is comprehended and preserved. We are called christians, because we have received a supernatural unction from our divine and honored Lord; therefore, that state of being in which the true christian stands, was radically in the person of Christ for him, before he partook of it by the creating energy of the Holy Ghost. There is this distinction between an earthly corporation and the mystical body of the Son of God; he who is the founder of the first may be an excellent man, and so long as he lives to superintend the concerns of it, the purpose for which his establishment was formed may be effected; but after his demise, the persons into whose hands the government of it may fall, may supercede and bring to nothing the design of the founder: but in the establishment of grace, Christ is not only the centre of union in it, but he ever lives, and all the glory of it is derived from his divine person. The worth of Christ is not derived from his appointment to be the Head of the church and the Saviour of the body, although the saving work of his services and his sacrifice is the result of the will
Vol. VII.—No. 76. M