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bling of themselves together, to consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works (Heb. x. 24, 25); when they so meet, they should talk of God's name (Mal. iii.); and therefore it is nothing but what is right and seemly that the word of God should be read, and, in connexion with this, that we should exhort one another to suffer the word of exhortation and reproof, if needed. Their professed dependance on the simple word of God, is certainly good, but this others also have. There are other points on which they are correct on the whole, but they scem to carry even these beyond what God has been pleased to make clear; and we should not seek to be wise above what is written, nor short of what is written. When we consider what eminent members of Christ have been in the Church of England,* although it does not show our church to be altogether free from fault, yet I do conceive that it does show that the system cannot be so essentially wrong as to make it sinful to remain in connexion with the established church ; at the same time, if any person becomes convinced in his mind that the system is bad, by all means let him leave; but let him not be so wanting in Christian love as utterly to condemn and almost anathematize every one who does not see eye to eye in all points, when they hold Christ as the Head, and the All in all. This is what I chiefly disjike in the Plymouth Brethren ; at the same time I cannot follow in their steps, and almost unchristianize them because I think them greatly in fault.
What they say about the union of sects with the world, all sounds very well; but do they avoid it themselves ? I am sure they do not, for many worldly people have joined them, and their test of admission is so vague, that many might profess who are not taught of God. It is vain to hope to have wheat without tares in this world ; of course we should strive as far as possible to keep separate from the world, but there is such a thing as conformity in the mind to worldly principles, when there may be not much outward conformity; the workings of pride which are at times kindled into flame by the devil, are very great even in the renewed mind, at least I find it so; and there seems to be an especial opening to it when led, like some of the Plymouth Brethren, to think themselves righteous and to despise others, or say, “Stand by, for I am holier than thou.” I have written as above what has occurred to me at the moment, and trust that it may prove to be of the Lord, who directeth our steps. Should you think what I say inconclusive, and feel yet more urged to join the Plymouth Brethren, then I would say, take heed how you hear, for there is certainly need of watchfulness when we read such words as these- viz." Lying in wait to deceive," i. e. not openly, but secretly trying to deceive. There are some of the preachers or pastors who certainly preach most valuable truth, although, as I think, mixed with errors; but there are others who pervert the Gospel, and so are accursed. It is quite a vain fancy to expect that all their teachers were faithful; where would the enemy be if that were the case? I have read some of their tracts, which are certainly anything but simple truth. I had intended to touch more particularly on some of their peculiarities, but I have already run on at a great length; however if this should not have tired you, I shall be most ready to write further, as the Lord may direct me. But even if you should join them, let it not interrupt our friendship and correspondence, for I shall feel as much Gospel love to you, whatever your external dress may be; and I only beg the same love and manifestation of it from you, whatever chameleon colour you may assume. It gives us great pleasure to hear from you, and your letters can never be too long ; so whenever you have time, and feel inclined, pray write, even if I should be in your debt. We are all much the same, with many and great mercies to be thankful for; not the least that pulpits are occasionally offered me; last Sunday I preached from Psalm xl. 3. Our kindest Christian love to all who love the truth. Believe me, in the one church (of the Lord Jesus,
Yours, most affectionately,
J. W. GOWRING. * I refer to such men as Cranmer, Crisp, Toplady, Berridge, Romaine, Hawker, and Nunn.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE LATE YOUTHFUL
H. A. HARRIS.
LETTER XI.-T. MR.JS MY DEAR FRIEND,
1 have to acknowledge the receipt of yours, and am sorry that my friend appears to give way to such a miserable frame of mind; surely a consideration of the presence of the divine Redeemer ought to make amends for the absence of your friend Harry, and your own l- But you do not feel his presence; his smiles do not cheer; his comforts do not delight you; but you are also mourning the absence of him who has said, “I will never leave, nor never
But you ought not to repine, neither ought you to be contented ; but to be pressing forward towards the mark, and anxiously striviug after renewed manifestations of the love of Christ to your soul. I believe it is the work of the Holy Ghost in his covenant character as the Testifier of Jesus; and, although the works of election, redemption, effectual calling, final perseverance, and glorification, are as sure as God can make them to the children of God, yet a believer, under the lively actings of a living faith, will not rest without using every means that God has appointed for his comfort and edification, that he may mortify the deeds of the flesh, strive against sin, resist temptation, flee youthful lusts, feel Christ precious, enjoy communion with God, grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but it is exceedingly difficult to learn to be passive in his hands, and know no will but his. I do not feel in quite so dark a state of mind as when I last wrote you; but I feel daily and hourly that I need fresh application of the blood of sprinkling; for, verily, my heart seems in league with hell to endeavour to damn my soul and to dishonour Christ; but it is through Him alone I hope to he more than a conqueror over cursed sin, cursed self, cursed world, and cursed Satan. I bless God from my in most soul that he has provided both comfortable and comely raiment, and also strong and mighty armour, wherein we shall appear in his presence with confidence, and wherewith we can fight against enemies both within and without.
I am glad you have not forgotten me when approaching the footstool of the Great High Priest, and I receive it as a strong proof of the sincerity of your friendship. I think I enjoyed more liberty in prayer last Sabbath morning than I have for some time; I need not say my dear J- was on my heart. I prayed last night that if my everlasting damnation was determined on by the Sovereign Arbiter of heaven and earth, that I night, in the pit of hell
, be allowed to think on the love of Christ in redemption ; but this cannot be. If I am lost, I deserve it; if I am damned, I deserve it as richly as the angels that kept not their first estate. Yet, save a guilty rebel, Lord; then shall the shout of the loudest notes of praise echo through the everlasting hills of Zion, to the praise of free, sovereign, rich, boundless, and distinguishing grace. Oh that the Holy Spirit would give me to know that I have an inheritance among the saints of God; I do not seem to wish to live for anything in comparison with that, and had I that I should wish to die ten times more than I do. Old Mrs. W- was buried on Sunday afternoon; she rests from her labours, and has entered into the joy of her Lord. She now enjoys what I would fain enjoy—the presence of Christ without a veil; happiness without sin; joy without sorrow, and love without hope. Oh! that you and your unworthy friend were now enjoying that state in which Christ is the object of praise, the centre of delights, and the happiness of the happy. But it is no use wishing,
and I hope I may be kept from wisbing until that wish is agreeable to the will of God; but I cannot help it; I feel my sinfulness and depravity so reigning withio, that I cannot but
wish to be soaring away,
My God and my Saviour to see." But I must conclude. May you, my dearest friend, partake of every blessing on earth of a temporal and spiritual nature; may you, under every dispensation of Providence, enjoy the smiling presence of the great Advocate and Mediator; may the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, enable you to see, with Thomas called Didymus, that Christ is your Lord and your God; and may you in death feel the supporting arm of the Lord Jehovah, driving back the billows, and supporting your soul; and may we meet in heaven, to behold the Man of Sorrows, and to bless him for all that he has done for us and in us.
Your ever affectionate friend, September 29th, 1835.
H. A. HARRIS.
Mr. Triggs' Answer to Ruth. [Prior to the annexed Letter, written in reply to “ Ruth,” which appeared in our
last Number, we beg to call the reader's especial attention to the two distinctive parts of which every believer in Jesus is composed. If this be not carefully kept in view, there are certain expressions couched in this reply which would not only be extremely unguarded, but bear upon the very face of them the most unwarrantable presumption. But, viewing the child of God in his twofold character-as, in his earthly or old nature, united to the first Adam, and, in his heavenly or new nature, most blessedly allied to the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, the subject opens with beauty and satisfaction. In his first-Adam nature, he is as black as Satan ; sin cleaves to him, and he to it, all down through this his time-state. In his second-Adam, cr new nature, divinely wrought in him as a distinctive part, by God the Holy Ghost, he rises above the love of sin, or the very being of sin, as far as that new nature is concerned. This is holy even as God is holy: hence the exhortation of the apostle
From this new or spiritual life springs his death to sin (Romans, vi. 2–11). He cannot live in it or after it as he once did; under the body of sin which he is compelled to drag about with him during his sojourn in the wilderness, he“ groans being burdened” (2 Cor. iv.); he is like a man caught in a snare, or a bird caged; and in no degree of comparison will the man rejoice in his liberation or the bird in its egress, than the soul born from above will delight in his freedom from a body of sin and death, when the Master comes to set him free.-ED.] MY VERY DEAR RUTH,
Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord; it hath reigned over, and reigned down sin, by Jesus in his obedience, sufferings, death, and resurrection ; for he hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea. Yea, he hath spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in himself
, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and grace by him, in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost. in our hearts, reigns over and down sin in us, so that sin shall not have the dominion over us, for we are not under the law but under grace. Then as we live in this blessedness, in union with, and in eternal life and salvation in, Christ, being joined to him the Lord and one spirit, so, in this sense, we live as if there had been no sin, or that there is now no such a thing as sin or death ; and it is by virtue of this that I always live happy in the Lord; for he that is dead is freed or justified from sin, knowing that if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him; for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; for in that he died, he died unto sin once, but in that he liveth he liveth unto God; likewise reckon ye yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God by Jesus Christ our Lord. These things are plain to them that understand, and thus, as new creatures in Christ, we live as reinote from sin and death as our
most glorious Christ, because as he is, so are we in this world, And, be it further observed, that he was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Then, as this is true, and we are living in the fulness of it, and are justified from all things, how is it possible that sin or death can join itself unto it ? The thought of such a thing would be monstrous, and decidedly contrary to God and truth. Therefore, being a witness of the truth and blessedness of this statement, and, as Christ dwells in me and I in him, so I live completely out of sin and death, eternally made free from sin, condemnation, curse, and wrath; being reconciled to God by the death of his Son, and made nigh by his blood. And, I add, as there is that death-blow struck by our most glorious Christ on the old man, it being crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, then it is our very dear mercy to live Christ, knowing Christ to be our life, who saith, “ Because I live, ye shall live also ;” and, as we live and walk by faith in him, so we live and walk in peace and equity with God, redeemed from all evil and all iniquity; and although we find that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and cry, "O wretched man that I am,” we do not stop here to live in or by any of these things: they, with all their concomitants, are passing backward, and we passing through them with much tribulation; yet they cannot hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. Then what is the mercy? Why, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord; so then, with or in my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh the law of sin. This is neither trifling with, nor living in, sin, but living above it; and this is the way to live it down, and to live and walk in Christ as if sin were a complete nonentity. I hope, yea, I believe you understand me. I do assure you this is the blessedness I live and go on in day by day, although but few seem to understand me when speaking of these blessed truths, in the realization of them in the heart; and as Christ is my all and in all, self, sin, and death appear as nothing. Therefore I cannot serve sin by poring over what I am as a sinner, and drawing inferences from what I feel of the workings of corrupt nature, and set it up, as many do, together with the subtil workings of Satan, as a standard of real experience. I desire to leave this dirty work to the workers at the dung-gate, and go on preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all; and, as having nothing, yet possessing all things. I acknowledge with you that there is nothing in, of, or by the Lord Jesus that pleases the old man, but all is contrary to his mind, will, desires, &c.; and the old man never yet did one thing to please the Lord Jesus; oh, no! he is too self-seeking for such an act.
These truths are some of the mysteries of our most holy faith, and are congenial with a spiritual mind, which is life and peace; and we know that nothing can live and act contrary to its nature. Then, as we have a spiritual life and nature, and the mind of Christ, and we are declared to be new creatures in Christ, who said, “ That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” this assuredly is as distinct from flesh, sin, corruption, and death, as our most glorious Christ is; and it is herein I live without sin. These truths appear to be stumbling-blocks to the self-seeking, who set themselves up as truth guards, so that I get cautioned and condemned ; “ Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” The eternal Spirit, in his sure testimonies concerning Christ and the church, speaks very blessedly on this sinless subject by the beloved John, as it is written, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God
And every man that hath this hope in him puritieth himself, even as He is pure.” This is a pure truth, and the subjects of it are pure, even as he is pure; surely there is no sin to be seen herein. know that he was manifested to take away our sin, and in him is no sin." This is very blessed and plain; Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, hath taken away our sins, consequently we are free from them, and in him is no sin; therefore, as we are in him by eternal election, and created anew in him in righteousness and true holiness, we are in him without sin; and “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not;" “He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous ; " " He was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ;" then we not only live without sin, and are righteous as He is righteous, but are the righteousness of God in him. This is the unalterable position of the church in her spiritual union with her Maker and Husband; and “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit
'56 And ye
sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God; and in this the children of God are manifest.” And in this truth I must rejoice, being born of God, and living in oneness of nature, life, and spirit with our most glorious Christ.“ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself;" that is, “ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." And thus we know, believe, and experience, that “whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !” Precious living this, beloved ; in peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray the Lord to give unto us, and all his dear children, a growing knowledge of these blessed truths; then there would not be so much talk about self-corruption and the devil. I have written freely to you on a subject that is very dear unto me by the demonstration of the Spirit; the divine properties of the same being realized in my heart humbles me before the Lord, and I must sing, “The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
Yours, in our precious Lord Jesus, London.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
TO “W. H. Y." God is with thee, dear brother. Thine epistle has gone to the very core of the heart, and opened a fresh vein of sympathy there. Thine is a trial indeed; but God has been-he will be thy support. He has done much for thee, or thou never wouldst exclaim-“But now let me testify to the goodness and faithfulness of my gracious God in the midst of the fires. He has been with me, in language the most opprobrious; in treatment the most cruel; in treachery ; in persecution ; and now in circumstances the most sad which can befal any man. He has kept me, and comforted me, and lifted me up above every shaft of the enemy, enabling me to live close to him, and enjoy sweet peace of mind, and joyful anticipation of that rest which remaineth for the people of God."
“ You have tasted of the cup of trial: and if my experience chimes in with yours, and others of the bloodbought family, the Lord shines most brightly on the soul when outward matters are most perplexing and soul-harrowing; thus making our greatest troubles in the flesh the channels of his love and mercy.'
We hope to write thee shortly.
TO “ A YOUNG BUT SAVED SINNER.” Thou dost still make some broad assertions, but ere we can receive them and be sweetly satisfied that thy confidence springs from the genuine work of the Holy Ghost in thine heart, we should love to hear of the way and manner by which he has conducted thee, and how thou didst obtain thy credentials. God forbid that we should despise thy youth; for we too well remember our own position long before, and especially at the very time of thy present age, so to do. There is nothing to discourage thee on that account. At the age of sixteen, after deep soul-travail, and many years
' sense of condemnation, God most graciously spoke that sweet promise to our heart, when we had just been wrestling with him, as we thought for the last time, resolving never to besiege the throne-for it was a besieging time-again; “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee.” And never since, though it has been by a chequered and a dark way by which we have been conducted, have we taken the burden that was then removed upon our shoulders. Blessed be God! May He bless thee, little one.
D), A. DOUDNEY, CITY PRESS, I, LONG LANE.