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THE CHRISTIAN PILGRIM. ALONG this dreary thorny wilderness
Obedient unto death the victim bow'd, The Christian Pilgrim wanders. Oft his way But mighty over it the victor rose. Is rough and mazy, and the path he treads Then strong in conquest he ascending gain'd Is oft obscur'd by clouds of darkening
His princely station at the Father's side; Dispensations; while his heart is sadden'd Where, still retaining, though exalted now As he feels corruption's power, and wounded A brother's interest in the Pilgrim's cause, By the poignancy of Satan's arrows.
He pleads his free acceptance, and requires Around him kindles persecutions fire;
By claim all-prevalent that finally he And oft his shrinking strength is baffled by Shall be with himself in glory. Thus is the The waves of tribulation, which in stormy roll Christian bless'd; but“ dead in trespasses and Enwrap and overwhelm his sinking head.*
sins," It would appear to human eye as though He knows not of his blessings; yet there is The Pilgrim were alone and desolate,
One whose life-imparting touch, can in a Unlov'd, unnotic'd, and forgotten.
Moment animation give to this unconscious But is it thus? Oh, no! he has a guide Corse. "Tis he, the Spirit of all life, whose Who leads him through the desert's dangers, Godlike power alone can vivify the One
Sin-enshrouded soul. And he who first his Who lives for ever, and whose mighty arm, Sealing witness bore to mercy's ancient The same that rais'd creation's fabric, is Compact, must again in soothing witness Uplifted still to shield the Christian.
To the wounded heart administer that And that eye which gladden'd with approving Mercy. Then by his sanctifying presence Smile the infant world, is ever waking with Still sustain the holy germe implanted, Enlivening beam to cheer and radiate his And amid the toil of conflict, or affliction's Gloomy way. Yea more, ere yet the formless Storm in promis'd character, must breathe the Universe had sprang to visibility
Calm of comfort. Thus did the purposes Beneath his hand, Jehovah had engag'd Of grace assign each glorious person In triune character to love, and save,
His appointed work, while by the changeless And sanctify the Pilgrim; though he knew Promise of a God, the Three, the Onemin That Pilgrim would be found with treacherous Oath immutable, had bound the Pilgrim's will
Life and safety to his own; determining And dare defiance to his holy name.
That everlastingly he should exchange Thus 'twas the Father, who in free-est love His weary travel for unending rest. Beheld him ever as a chosen child,
Then, Christian, triumph. Though thou wan And hence was anxious with paternal care
derest To trace in lines of certainty his
Now with way-worn feet, thou art not homeless Journeying track, foreseeing too its course was Since a mansion waits for thee, its destin'd Intricate, he purpos'd to attend, as
Tenant. 'Tis true thou roamest as a stranger All-directing, on his varying steps.
Here, yet think of Heaven thy home, and think And 'twas the Son, who leaving for a while That even now thy Father holds thy hand, His high supremacy and regal crown,
Nor would commit to Gabriel's arm the trust Descended, as the Christ, Emmanuel,
Of thy conducting. Satan may tempt and his Jesus, for he saw the Pilgrim lost, and
Accusing roar thrill through thy tottering frame, Longing to redeem by right of kindred,
Yet fear him not; he only rages when he Stoop'd to call him brother; yes, wore a bro- Feels his chain, and knows he cannot hurt thee. ther's
In sorrow's hour remember there is One, Form, possess'd a brother's heart to sigh, and Who with a brother's sympathy partakes weep,
Thy grief. And when in combat with internal And sjourn'd here on earth that he might know Foes thy struggling soul is tortur'd, then shall What earthly sojourn was. Then died, for He, Sinai's
The great Remembrancer, in sweetest aid Blazing brow had thundered loudly with Reveal the word of promise! Yes, Christian, Resounding peal,“ The sinning soul shall die ;" Thou canst triumph, and in hope exult already And he, though “holy, harmless, undefil'd," In that joyful hour which sets thee free from By imputation was beheld the doom'd
Pilgrimage. 'Tis fast approaching, for the Offender, for he stood the sinner's votive Wheels of time in swift revolvings will ere long Substitute : and bore, Oh! love untold, Convey the dawn of thy dismissal; then Unequall'd, and unknown, his fullest sentence. Shalt thou, in glad exemption from terrestrious Yet died he not as vanquish'd; for in him Care, enjoy repose eternally. The Conqueror blent with conquer'd,
Lockwood, Yorkshire. E. M. L. P.
* That the believer can ever be finally overwhelmed in the deepest waters of trial, no one can admit who attaches veracity to the word of promise; yet, may not the expression be used as consonant with his own feelings, without the slightest innovation on his security? which must be infallible; seeing it is indissolubly linked with the eternal existence of Jehovah.
City Press, Long Lane : D. A Doudney.
“ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE Bond OF PEACE." "Jesus Christ, the same Yesterday, TO-DAY, AND FOR Ever. WHOM TO
18 Life Eternal."
THE LORD SHALL GUIDE THEE CONTINUALLY.— ISAIAI, Lvii. 11. And what can you want more, dear reader ? Suppose you have no wisdom, and you feelingly acknowledge day by day that your heart and your flesh fail you ; that your judgment is more broken ; and that disappointment and vexation more closely attend your every step ; is it, think you, merely to aggravate and annoy that you are brought to this humbling position ? Oh, no! On the contrary, the Lord himself
, by a variety of mysterious yet all-wise leadings, has been conducting you to a most desirable spot-namely, to a state of entire helplessness, that the power of Christ may be more felt and acknowledged by you.
Mark, beloved, it is THE LORD that is to be your guide—(we are addressing ourselves to sensibly lost sinners)—and who that knows what the Lord's guidance is, but will be willing to abandon his own wisdom and strength, as the Lord shall enable him—to exchange it, shall we say, for that which cometh down from above? It is a hard lesson to learn, but a precious lesson when learnt : when learnt, did we say? Ah, no! it will never be thoroughly learnt. We are learning it every day, and yet never acquiring but a very limited knowledge of our own insufficiency. Our fleshly minds- our carnal hearts-are constantly on the alert, and ever ready to offer some fresh suggestion-to throw some new light upon the subject, which is sure to “darken counsel.” While, abstractedly considered, ours is the sanguine, the precipitate course, the Lord's is the calm—the steady way. The former pro
No. XIV. Vol. 2.-New Series.
mises much, but yields nothing, except it be a knowledge of its own utter dissatisfaction ; the latter promises little, but yields much.
If, then, reader, you have of late been travelling by a strange way; if you that once walked beneath the smiles of your Lord, in a narrow pathway, wherein you sensibly found his presence, and realized an undoubted assurance that it was the way of the Lord's appointment, are now come to a barren waste—a wilderness, in which you appear to have lost your Guide, and over which you can trace no pilgrim's track ; if the apparently vexatious condition at which we have before hinted, appear to be yours ; instead of sorrow, you have abundant cause of rejoicing. Indeed you have. Instead of halting or retrograding in your course, you have been, and still are, progressing. In the gloom you have been gaining a knowledge unto which, in the sunshine of his presence, you could not have attained. Had you continued consciously to lean upon his arm, you would not have felt, as now you do feel, your own entire weakness ; nor would you have learnt to value, as now you will, the blessedness of having such an arm upon which to lean. Still is He watching over, and still is he guiding you, though now you see him not. Presently, when danger threatens, and you fear that trouble will utterly overwhelm you, he will step forth from his hiding-place, and appear for your relief; admonishing you with a smile, and reproving your unbelief with the kindly interrogation, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?”—“Wherefore, Lord ? Because in our old Adamnature, we are nothing but sin and unbelief ; faith is thine own gift, nor can we exercise the veriest particle of it without thy Spirit's power, which must work in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.
Of thine own bring we unto thee.' Lord, evermore give us this faith -a faith that out of a deep-felt sense of ignorance, impurity, and helplessness, cries to thee for wisdom, righteousness, and strength.”
Beloved, as in a long journey, the traveller is ever conversant with change ; as hill and dale, a rough and a smooth road, a shaded lane and a sultry waste, the thick forest and the expansive heath, by degrees become familiar, so must you expect a diversified path : variation and change, with their attendant fears and anxieties, will mark your career ; nor will the particular line of leading by which you were conducted in past dispensations, serve as an index or guide under present necessitous circumstances ; if so, you would be looking to past experience --which is only another mode of looking into self-instead of unto the Lord ; no, you must be led into new paths, be called to encounter fresh trials, in order that you may ever have an errand to the throne, and witness afresh the delivering acts of your most adorable Lord. Do you want a scriptural confirmation of the position ? Take Isaiah, xlii. 16, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known.” Mark the sweetness of the stress here“ I will lead,” &c. Ah, yes! the guidance of the living family of the Most High God is too momentous to be intrusted to any but himself. The bride, the Lamb's wife, must be escorted through the path of life by the Lamb himself! Though invisible, he is ever near ; though ofttimes she appears to be “sinking in deep waters, where there is no standing," yet still underneath are, and ever will be, the everlasting arms!
Again, in the estimation of your progress, do not hastily misjudge, or too readily "write bitter things against yourself.” The mariner encounters many a storm, still it frequently wafts him more speedily towards the desired haven : his comforts most abound in pleasant sailing ; his little bark running freely before the freshened breeze, is more congenial than the squall--the heavy sea--the stricken topmast- and the close-reefed sail ; yet, amid these dangers, the vessel progresses, and sweeter is rendered the home fireside. And so with you, beloved ; the sky may lower, and the heavens gather blackness, but still onward you are going, under the guidance and protection of the great Captain of your salvation ; a few more gales, yet another tempest or two -- and faith will descry the port of bliss ; nearer she comes, good way the vessel makes ; yet a little season, and, your “anchor being cast within the veil, whither our Forerunner hath for us entered,” you shall land on the shores of Canaan
“Run up with joy the shining way,
To embrace your dearest Lord." Say, beloved, though the sweet voice of the Bridegroom has been withheld ; though you have walked in darkness and had no light ; though dismal fears and gloomy forebodings have fallen to your lot, in the place of the sweet peace and composure you once enjoyed ; though you have seemed left to your own way (notwithstanding this you have greatly dreaded); say, have you not been strengthened, supported, and supplied ? Hath a single promise failed ? Hath the Lord been worse than his word? If comfort have been withbeld, hath not stre been afforded ? If the Lord have seen fit to withdraw his manifestative presence, hath he permitted an enemy to usurp his dominion over your heart and affections? Is not this proved by the inward sigh, the heartfelt groan,
Oh, that it were with me as in months that are past ?” Think you not, that, after the profession you have made of his name - the numbers you have seen fall
away from the truth, that ever you would have held on and out to the present moment, had not the same hedge which was about Job surrounded you? Sharp as have been your trials, and painful your afflictions—have you ever had one too many or too much for you? Do you not continue the living witness of the sustaining grace of the Most High? Assuredly ; then be it your concern to give him the glory; and, whatever may be your present sources of anxiety, however numerous your fears, and multiplied your apprehensions of evil yet to come ; be it your concern to adopt the language of David, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul; and why art thou disquieted within me ? hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.” Here was hope, and hope only, without assurance, in exercise. And was David's hope put to shame ? were his fears realized ? Oh, no! And have you not the same God as had David? Is he less able to guide, to strengthen, and to deliver now, than he was then ? Do you plead demerit ? Could David, the timid, the adulterous, the murderous David, plead anyti ing else? Assuredly not ! Do you plead ignorance? Has not the Lord promised to be the guide of such ? “ If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth unto all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go ; I will guide thee with mine eye” (Ps. xxxi. 8). Do you plead weakness ? “He giveth power to the faint ; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength (Isa. xl. 29). Are you fearful ? “ Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. xli. 14). Are you poor? “When the poor and the needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them” (Isa. xli. 17). “I am poor and needy,” said David, “yet the Lord thinketh upon me” (Psalm xl. 17). Blessed be his precious name! Are you in bonds ? “ As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope”. (Zech. ix. 11, 12). “Let the sighing (mark the expression !) of the prisoner come up before thee (Psalm lxxix. 11). Are you in sorrow ?
“ The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek ; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn” (Isaiah, lxi. 1, 2).
O gracious Guide ! bountiful Benefactor ! adorable Lord! What a portion is the Lord to his people ; ay, and (wondrous condescension ! unfathomable mystery! stupendous wonder!) what a portion are his people to the Lord ! "The Lord's portion is his people, and Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deut. xxxii. 9).
If you had wisdom in yourself, beloved, you would have no need to come to Jesus for it ; but now the eternal Spirit, having given you an insight into your own heart, and a sense of your spiritual bankruptcy, has done more-far more- for you, than for those whom you are regarding with an envious eye; the worldly wise, the carnally prudent ; those who are at ease in Zion ; with whose treacherous calm, the devil is well pleased, and whose quietude he has no disposition to disturb.
In the person of your living Head, the God-man Christ Jesus, is treasured up all that wisdom and knowledge, of which you stand in need, and which he is seated upon his mediatorial throne to communicate. Nor can your frequent resorting to him, nor his constant bestowing upon you, impoverish him. It is an inexhaustible fountain to which you apply ; a fulness ever full ; a river constantly flowing ; a tide that never ebbs. And the more you go, the more will you want to go. The poorer you are, the more destitute your condition, the more helpless your state, the more welcome you are. It is desperate cases, utterly destitute conditions, the otherwise incurables, for whom Jesus loves to undertake. It is here his skill is displayed-here his
power is so richly manifest. Moreover, the Lord's is a safe guidance. Not merely shall he guide the ignorant, and the feelingly depraved ; but he shall guide them safely-securely. Beloved, we are so often misguided ; rather than led to the point at which we are wont to arrive, we are led from