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Captain of salvation ; it does not unfit you for following him, no, nor for be holding and being captivated with his beauties. Yea, I think you are privileged above us, for I find the eyes of my body almost put out those of my mind; so that, instead of beholding and being captivated, day by day and hour by hour, with Jesus, I am taken up and engaged with this thing and the other, with which the bodily eyes occupy the mind, to the exclusion of Jesus and those things from whence alone the mind obtains that sensible uplifting from the things of the world, time, and sense, and gets in any way fixed upon those of eternity and truth. Alas! alas! my dear friend, what poor creatures are we in ourselves! It is more and more discovered every day how that self is no helper, only a hinderer, to the carrying on and carrying out of that which is in reality our all, our everything-our provision, and possession, and inheritance, and life, and blessings in Jesus ; these are our all, and these we neglect, and at times even seem to despise, for some trifling, unsatisfying, momentary gratification of carnal self. How again and again is it thus with me !
What painful lessons am I thus taught concerning myself ! How low am I laid in the mire of my corruption and depravity, and how loathsome and detestable am I made to appear in the sight of my spiritual self, my new man in Christ Jesus! Thus is it I have to go down and be laid low before I get any lifting up in the power of the truth in Jesus, so precious to a really soul-humbled, debased sinner. My living to Jesus is only by such fits and starts; only when he shines ; only when he influences, draws, and inclines by his blessed 'Spirit. How cold, sensibly cold, dead, carnal, formal, earthly, and worldly at all other times and seasons ! and then how tried with the body of sin and death-the old man--the corrupt carnal nature in all its desires and affections, all its plottings, schemings, plannings, and doings. To all this there is nothing which we can oppose, for our comfort, and consolation, and encouragement, but Jesus and the truth of our God in him. To bring this to bear against the overflowing current of corruption and depravity, which our fallen nature is unceasingly supplying, is not what we can do ; no, this is of the sovereignty, and the power, and the exercised grace of our covenant God in Him in whom are the unsearchable riches of grace for the supply of the need of the poor, sinful, helpless chosen ones in him. Whatever could we do in our present state and condition, as we are made known to ourselves, were it not for that despised truth of the Gospel of our God, which so suitably meets our need and necessity as helpless sinners ? What a discovery of God is made to us in and by Jesus! What a wonderful thing it is, that, when weary and worn out with our own sinful selves, when tired of the opposition of our carnal hearts to God, then we find him to be the God who, in the exercise of his sovereignty, will have mercy, will love us, will manifest it to us, will bow us down at his feet, to receive his blessing out of the fulness of Jesus, and that in a simple exercise of faith, which is not of us, but of the operation of his Spirit within us. If all this were not borne witness and testimony to by the gift of Jesus, the life of Jesus, the sufferings and death of Jesus, we could not believe it, we should doubt it even when the very blessings themselves were being discovered to us. But faith in Jesus triumphs over doubts and fears on these subjects, while our hopes are confirmed, and we strengthened with might sensibly in the inner man, to go on our way; looking away from self to the Lord himself, and glorying in him and him only. It is a cause for great thankfulness if, in any instance, we are permitted to have here on earth, whatever the channel, that fellowship one with another, which is of our individual fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
This is what is wanting, the one thing needful to make any intercourse we have on earth of any real worth or value; all other ends in nought, whatever of present gratification to natural feelings may arise out of it. I know nothing of fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, but as I know myself a hell-deserving, hell-fitted sinner, that has found in Jesus the all-sufficient provision of grace, that meets to the utmost of my necessity all I know of want before my God, as one who, in himself, is carnal, sold under sin, and that tells me I owe this provision to the sovereign love of Him against whom I have always and do continue grievously to sin. Fellowship with the great God of heaven and earth, through his meeting my sinful, hell-deserving need and necessity with his provisions of grace in Jesus, who is the great, the eternal Jehovah in the Person of the Son, who, as incarnate, lived, suffered, obeyed, and died for me. When I get here, to this blessed spot, then if I can communicate with one who, through the same grace, the same mercy, the same love, has arrived at the same spot, then we have that fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. "If the Lord refresh your soul or the soul of any weary fellow-pilgrim by means of aught which comes of my pen, he communicates it—then give him all the praise, it is his and his only: I am sure it is not mine-he lets me know that ; for when he withdraws his influences, what can I write ? what can I say? what can I preach ?-nothing, or what is worse than nothing. Oh, my dear friend and brother, how dependent are we upon our God! Is there anything that concerns us wherein we are not dependent, and that to the utmost? Is there any dependence for anything, under any circumstances, to be placed in ourselves ? Surely there is not, there cannot be. This being thus, how awful a case would ours be, while we know we justly merit the eternal wrath and vengeance of our God, had we no revelation of a sovereign, free-grace salvation in Jesus, made to our own souls, from which we are enabled to derive confidence before God, and cast our care upon him, believing that he careth for us. But again, this comes of faith in Jesus ; without faith in Jesus there is no real exercised confidence in God as sensible sinners ; at least I find it so; I could not confide in God, as I am in myself, had I not faith in Jesus, opening up to me a way of access to God as the friend of the poor helpless sinner; helpless I am in the extreme as a sinner, while in God is my help found. Jesus has discovered this to me, I discovered it nowhere else; in the knowledge of Jesus I have found the goodness of God to me as a poor, helpless sinner; I am far, very far from being what I would be in myself—yea, I think more and more so, the longer I am permitted to live. I need the provisions of grace in Jesus—and the union to Jesus—the oneness with him, revealed in the word, more and more; and I am sure more and more sensible am I of the need of the sovereign goodness and favour of the Lord God. Here my hopes are fixed; and when I can realize this truth with any application to myself, then I find something of love to God rise up within me, and somewhat of the fear of his holy name, and somewhat of desire to please him and do his will. Then I am vexed with myself for what I am in myself, and what I am so continually testifying that I am in myself by my conduct towards my God; who is thus the source of all my hopes and confidence in the contemplation of my particular situation, as the creature that has broken his law, dishonoured his name, and exposed myself to his just and righteous wrath and vengeance.
How much is implied in the expression, à saved sinner! How fit is a saved sinner, when in possession of his salvation, which is Jesus, for heaven! None others of the children of men can ever be fit for heaven. They may talk of a fleshly meetness, a fitness of the creatureyea, they may now, in their ignorance, glory in this imagined possession, but they will never realize it; it cann be realized; there is no such thing. Faith does not want such a thing; it is unbelief that seeks this; it is unbelief that fancies it is found and then glories in it. But how much glorious truth is hidden from the eye of such unbelieving heirs of heaven! All that really
humbles the creature and lays him down in his proper place, is hid from the eyes of such ; while they see nothing of that which glorifies Jesus and exalts God-in the salvation of the sinner-of sovereign grace and sovereign grace only.—We are watching, my dear friend, with anxious interest before the Lord, to know what he designs respecting you. We wish you well; you have our prayers when the Lord leads us to the throne of grace with a pray: ing spirit; while we have great pleasure in doing anything which the Lord enables us in your service. Mrs. Gowring, with yourself, I have in my Christian affection and regard; while I remain Your Friend and Brother in Christ Jesus our Lord,
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. BELOVED EDITOR,
Grace, mercy and peace, be multiplied to thee. May showers of rich grace descend on you, and cause the savour of Jesus' name to be sweetly felt and shown in your labours of love, in sending forth monthly supplies of the bread of life to the Lord's family. I have to bless the Lord that I have found, through his shining on the contents, and opening up to me the sweetness contained, much soul-profit while perusing the pages of the GOSPEL MAGAZINE, and hail with joy its arrival, which perhaps a partial scarceness in the ministry of the word tends more to enhance its value; for where the soul does not get a full meal, the appetite is sharpened to eat plentifully when the Gospel comes in the fulness of the blessing. A full soul loathes the honeycomb, but an empty soul can, under the Spirit's teaching, enjoy a full
, free, and finished salvation, and sweetly feed on the dying love of Emmanuel, and find meat to eat of which the world knows nothing.
That subject in the beginning of the April Number was particularly blessed to me; it was exactly suited to my case, and I was led to see the certainty of the Lord's appearing, and where he would appear-viz. above the mercy-seat. The Lord has given a promise that those that wait on him shall renew their strength, and he inclined my soul to seek him more earnestly; and in the cloud I was then encompassed with he manifested himself as the hearer and answerer of prayer ; the help of the helpless ; the hope of the hopeless; a present help in time of trouble. I had trials within and without, and seemed encompassed on every side, but was enabled to wait for the Lord and to stand still, and saw his salvation revealed, when to me there seemed death stamped on the promise ; but I may say, and that truly, “It is good that a man both quietly hope and patiently wait for the salvation of the Lord," for his mercy endureth for ever.
We are often, when under the cloud, saying, when staggering at the promise, “How can these things be ?” but it is a mercy that the Lord seeth not as man seeth, or we should come off short of the blessing. The Lord seeth the end and the beginning, and knows the way we take ; for known unto him are all things; and it is a vast blessing he does, and another blessing is he has promised to be with us in all the road, and, when we stray, to bring us back; for he is the Shepherd of his dear flock, who says in his precious word, that “he carries the lambs in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with young.” Blessed be his name for his care of his chosen, redeemed, and regenerated ones, whom he keeps in the hollow of his hand, preserves from the rage of the arch-adversary, so that he cannot destroy, though annoy us he does, so far as permitted; but blessed be God, even our gracious covenant God, who has said for our consolation, “I will not lay upon thee more than
thou art able to bear, and what he does lay on to prove what is in our hearts, he does in love and fatherly correction, as beloved Kent says
not in anger,
But from his dear cov'nant love." When I reflect on the love and grace of Jehovah before all worlds, in choosing one so vile, so wretched, and so base, and in due time, even the set time, to favour me, to show me his love and great salvation, I can but admire, adore, and praise the Three-in-One, and am lost in wonder at the greatness and undeservedness of such rich favour, which causes me to cry out with the apostle, “O the depths "-who can fathom them ? they are past finding out. O that I could live nearer to, and enjoy more uninterrupted communion with, Jesus my Friend, who loves at all times, when oftentimes my affections are cold to him, and drawn towards the things of time; but the joyful time is coming when flesh and sense will not intervene, and sin will not be known. The Lord direct you in all things, beloved Editor, and keep you as the apple
of his eye.
Yours, in Jesus,
Bethersden, May 18, 1842.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR SIR,
Having made yourself a party concerned in giving the castigation to our venerable and beloved friend Rebecca of the Oak, Farningham, for her temerity, as she called it, in presuming to write the poetical letter inserted last month, and not willing they should say, “ A woman slew him".(Judges, ix. 54), I have ventured to reply thereunto;, and not doubting that many have been refreshed while reading the warm-hearted effusion of this Mother in Israel, who evidently bringeth forth fruit in the season of old age, and whose leaf appears not to wither, while standing upon the brink of Jordan, waiting for the wafting breeze to carry her over the narrow stream. Whether the same vein of spirituality will be found to run through my production, must be left with you; should the alloy be found too much to allow its passing the Editor's refining pot, submission shall be yielded; but if any intrinsic value be there, and the footsteps of the flock have been accurately marked out, may the good Lord smile on it, and grant it may be instru. mental in refreshing some of his now exercised ones. With much affection towards you, dear Sir,
Yours, in Jesus,
A STRIPLING: Your letter, REBECCA, John duly re- But why this o'erwhelming," methinks ceived,
you will say, And with its contents felt very well “The promise insures you the strength : pleased;
for the day ; You speak well of the King, the Lord of Yea, more, for in weakness you shall the house,
be made strong; And what he has done on behalf of his Then cheer up, my brother, and give spouse.
us a song." As you sat, quite at ease, just under the The promise I read, yea, I firmly beoak,
lieve, The honey-dew dropped on the words as As yet it has never been known to deyou spoke;
ceive; It came as a cordial, to give me relief, 'Tis not from a flaw or a change in the When o'erwhelmed was my heart, and mind sinking with grief.
Of Him who in motive cannot be unkind; the deep, If shorn of his locks, as a Sampson of And thus gain advantage while John is old,
He rests in his love, and is found to The Salopian Exile mourns
embrace That heaven-born train, “the election Since those shinings so bright succeedof grace."
ed by dew But I live in a house wherein there's a Have left him in darkness his way to door
pursue ; Admits all the inmates who dwelt there Those beasts that come forth from their before ;
dens in the night, They question the right of the Prince of Have taught him his safety is only in the place,
flight; And often, led captive, I'm brought to And yet, so averse is his nature to yield, disgrace ;
That he seemis most inclined to die in The shattered condition in which the the field. house is
But shall he thus die ? now the question Gives them easy access whenever they we put, please;
The answer is given, yet not with a but. And though I succeed in securing the The Exile deliverance shall surely obtain, door,
Through the blood of the Lamb his vicIt really would seem they rose out of tory gain; the floor;
Yet here he must sojourn, surrounded Like locusts in bands they essay to go forth,
The promise enjoy in the midst of his With the king at their head “ comes out fears. of the north ;"
Then what doth it matter in pitching the The coldness from thence which we tent, know doth abound,
If in all things therewith we learn but Produce the icicles that hang all around. content; Then can you long wonder that Exile's Sabrina's great flood can make no admy name,
dition, Or feel a surprise when the same I pro- Nor London itself effect diminution. claim?
The weight and the measure that's given A Jonah once said, " I'm cast out of thy to each, sight;"
Must pass the Lord's balance before it And may not a Stripling"
" be in the
can reach same plight?
The homer, the hin, and the ephah so How often the brook seems in depth to justincrease,
However we fear, we with safety may While its hollow sound tends to disturb trust. our peace.
But how easy to say, yea credit to give, The stream must be lucid and clear
And yet on the promise be found not to from the spring,
live. Ere the “Stripling" finds stones to put My case this, too often, I'm led for to in his sling;
fear, Nor must they be rough ones, but When no light on my path may seem to polished and smooth,
appear ; Or they'll not do to meet Goliath, for- Arraign at the bar of my reason the sooth;
Lord, In the bag of the heart a time they must And feel sore displeased when he withers lay,
my gourd. Yet always be ready to bring into play. Then say, is it so with REBECCA, my And who is sufficient to go
friend ? length ?
Or can she rejoice in beholding the end ? Not, surely, a “Stripling," when failing With plummet and line can she fathom in strength;
asleep? The shaking himself the sad tale will 'Tis for courage like this you credit deunfold.
serve, From what I have written, REBECCA And are placed in the niche, we beg to will trace,