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"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 KNOW
Is Life ETERNAL."
NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS THOU WILT.-Matt. XXVI. 39. It may be that the reader is saying to himself, were his afflictions to have lighted upon him as, for example, Naomi's did, under the evident overruling hand of God, and not in a way of immediate chastisement, he could better have sustained them. He feels as if he could then go to God with them. And so, on account of the peculiarity of
your trial, your head is bowed down like a bulrush ? And your heart is heavy, and sorely are you oppressed; while you are constantly writing bitter things against yourself, and unceasingly foreboding ill? And how do you account for all this? " The Lord once revealed to me his will ; clearly marked out the path in which I was to walk ; but against which my carnal will arose ; flesh and blood began to work ; human advisers were resorted to, to strengthen fleshly plausibility, and to stifle the convictions of conscience ; and, Jonah-like, I took an opposite course to that which the Lord had pointed out to me.” Well, and what is the result? “A blight-a mildew seizes all. Like Pharaoh's host, my chariot wheels drag heavily. Nothing prospers. Light seems to discover itself here and there ; I fancy it is of God; I follow it, but to my mortification find, after all my toil, it is but an ignis fatuus : it brings me into a labyrinth of difficulty and amazement; I can get no access at the throne. I feel like a silly, obstinate child, respecting whom his father says, “While pursuing such a course, I will have nothing to do with
No. XV. Vol. 2.- New Series.
him.' Constantly I hear sounding in my ears, ' If they walk contrary to me, I will walk contrary to them, saith the Lord.' I am a stranger to peace—my former enjoyment is all gone ; and I that once reposed, with unshaken confidence, upon the unchangeable love and immutable purposes of a faithful God, am now tossed to and fro upon the ocean of uncertainty ; I am so often misled—so deluded by the application, or rather, the misapplication of apparently suitable portions of the word of God, that the adversary takes advantage, and says, 'If I am deceived upon one point, why not upon the whole ?' and such Scriptures as the following seem to suit my condition, at least in a limited sense :'I will mock at their calamity, and laugh when their fear cometh ; 'I will send them strong delusion, that they shall believe a lie ; * Ephraim is turned unto idols, let him alone."°"
And yet, beloved, there is not one particle of judicial wrath in all this-only fatherly chastiseinent. And you are now learning a secret which neither the world nor mere nominal professors can understand ; and that is, that “God is dealing with you as a son, for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?” The professing world suppose that the doctrines you profess will allow you to follow the dictates of a carnal heart, because you cannot perish eternally ; but you find by bitter experience, that perverseness and self-will becloud the face of a loving Father-intercept your pathway with a thousand perplexities--and fill your bosom with unutterable fear and anguish ; so that of a worse hell you can scarcely conceive. This, this, beloved, is the daily experience of men designated Antinomians.
But shall we leave you here? We have probed the wound-we have inquired into the malady, Shall we add no more? What ! not one word about a remedy ? And “is there no balm in Gilead? no Physician there ? " Yes, blessed be God, there is. One who, whether your disease be of a temporal or spiritual kind, or so closely united, as to defy separation, is able to administer relief and work an almighty cure. ''Tis Jesus! Jesus! the great-the good—the never-failing Physician, both of body and of soul. To Him betake yourself, poor soul!
But did we hear you say, that there was still a disposition to keep back part of the price (Acts, v. 6); that this darling sin could not be dispensed with, nor that self-will and inclination to choose for yourself given up; that you have not yet been brought to say, “ Here I am, Father, do with me as seemeth thee good ; ' " " Not as I will, but as thou wilt, Lord ?” Ah ! poor soul, to this point your present exercises are fast bringing you. When the Lord, by his wondrous leadings, has brought you here, then deliverance is not far off. Until this is accomplished, your path will be dark-your steps doubtfuland your mind will be filled with anxiety and fear ; no access at the throne-no enlargement of heart will you be the subject of. But when the props upon whic you are resting, one by one give way, until, like a launching vessel, body and soul appear to cleave to some frail dependence, which at length, to your terror and amazement, an Almighty hand apparently in anger strikes away; then, and not until then, shall you enjoy sweet freedom and liberty. And shall your fears be realized ? Shall your frail bark part asunder-shall it sink beneath the mighty billows of temptation, soul desertion, and dismay? Oh no, no!
It shall emerge from beneath the canopy—the cloud-under which it has abode; the Sun—the glorious Sun of Righteousness, shall burst upon its glittering sides ; while the ensign of truth-the banners of free favour, unchangeable love, and persevering grace, shall wave upon its deck in majestic splendour ; and the notes of gratitude, thanksgiving, and delight, shall drop in sweetest melody on the spectator's ear. This—this, beloved, assuredly shall be your happy experience in this time-state, even before you launch into the ocean of eternal joy; and the sooner the enmity is slain—the self-will subdued, and the haughty spirit brought, in opposition to the will of the creature, or the dictates of worldly conformity, to bow, the sooner shall this glorious era in your soul's experience, dawn!
Again you say, "But how shall I get here? My spirit rises against it, and my imagination conjures up a thousand objections against the course which I must confess my conscience points out.” Tell out those very objections, together with every fear as, one by one, it presents itself to the mind, to Jesus. The task may be somewhat difficult at first; shame and confusion may in measure cover you; nevertheless it is your only remedy. If your malady be sin, here is your only cure; if it be open rebellion, you will never know the privilege of Gospel obedience, till brought to his feet; if it be a waveringa want of establishment-a reeling to and fro in indecision, at the feet of Jesus alone will you obtain steadfastness and determination to be on the Lord's side, whoever or whatever may oppose.
Come then, poor soul, God enable you to bow before him with all your hardness, and rebellion. Are you miserable ? tell him so. Say, “Lord, I am as miserable as I can be; and thou alone canst make me happy. I know not how, but thou art wisdom itself, and knowest how to impart the boon I ask.” Have you backslidden, and are you ashamed again to raise your guilty head ? Go away into your closet; shut your door ; fall down before Him, and say, Lord, I have sinned; pardon me. Reveal a bleeding Jesus. Show me his hands and his side. I have no feeling; Lord, make me feel. I love sin ; Lord, cause me to hate it. I am afraid I shall fall into some open sin, and bring disgrace upon thy cause; Lord, keep me--hold thou me up, and then I shall be safe.” Do you
want to have your own way? Tell the Lord so, and, while you acknowledge the dread you have of following your own wishes, entreat him to control every frail desire—to bring all down to the obedience of faith, and afford you strength and grace to repose yourself and all your concerns in his most blessed hands.
And, beloved, you will find, that in this exercise your mind will gradually obtain strength-confidence-composure, and you shall now the sweetness to be derived from being brought to exclaim, I will, but as thou wilt, Lord !”
“ Not as
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine.
Having been confined to my room for several days by indisposition, my thoughts have been much engaged, in my retirement, upon the state and prospects of dearly beloved Zion; and as those thoughts have tumbled into rhyme, perhaps you will give them a page in your valuable vehicle of truth ; if, peradventure, the Lord may make use of them to stir up the sleepy sons of Zion to prayer.
It is the degeneracy of the churches, and their rejection of the full truth of God, which has brought us to the present crisis, and nothing but a miraculous revival of vital godliness can save us from the impending scourge.
What, I ask, is three-fourths of the profession of the present day, but a carnal system of religious mockery?
May God Almighty-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, preserve his own little flock, prays theirs to serve in the Gospel of free-grace,
JOSEPH IRONS. Camberwell, Feb. 12th, 1842.
THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF GOD'S WITNESSES.
Is Baal serv'd at Oxford more than Rome?
The nineteenth century! an age of woe!
the greatest and the least,
Unburied they will lie, until God's call*
Beast and false prophet both shall be deTHE FAILURE OF THE WEAPONS, AND THE CONDEM
* Rev. xi. 12.
+ Rev. xi. 9.
# Hosea, ii. 15.
!! Rev, xix. 20.
NATION OF THE TONGUES. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and every tongue
that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn : this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of
me, saith the Lord.-Isa. liv. 17. The prophet, after speaking in the former chapter much concerning the Lord Jesus, and the glorious work he should accomplish, opens the one before us with a call to certain characters to “sing,” and to “ break forth into joy;" while he describes them as “barren, and those who did not travail,” yet should be found to "break forth on the right hand and on the left, making the desolate cities to be inhabited ;" who should neither be ashamed nor confounded, but whose shame of youth should be forgotten, and the reproach of their widowhood not remembered—even those to whom He, whose name is “the Lord of hosts," their Maker, had become their Husband. And after dwelling upon the results of this union, in the manifestation of those acts accompanying the same, in which the perpetuity of the covenant and the everlasting kindness of his heart is said never to depart or be removed ; he is led out by the Holy Ghost to take a farther view of them, under the state of conflict and exercise they are found while passing through the valley of Baca, and addresses them as the “afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted.” But in the sweet words of promise he assures them, “ their stones shall be laid with fair colours, and their foundations with sapphires;" the children shall be all taught of the Lord, and made to enjoy peace. And although there shall be a gathering together of their enemies, his eye shall be on them ; and the impossibility of danger arises from his creating the smith who blew the coals in the fire, whose instrument for his work could only be brought forth by permission of the sovereignty of Him who created the waster to destroy. Hence no weapon formed could prosper, and no tongue arise but must be condemned.
In considering the sweet words before us, we shall look for help to Him who teacheth to profit, and leadeth us in the way we should go ; him who searcheth the deep things of God, and who is the instructer of every child of God in those things pertaining to godliness, and from whom only we can learn what are those weapons formed, and the sole cause of their not prospering : the every tongue that rises up, and the manner in which they are condemned ; together with the heritage said to belong to the Lord's servants, and that righteousness which is of him. First-The
weapons formed. They are Satanic in their nature, and destructive in their end. Satanic, from being brought forth by the smith of hell; and destructive, because dipped in the poison of the bottomless pit ; and to a certain extent may be said to be powerful, while in the instance of those afflicted and tossed ones, they are rendered powerless. To attempt to describe the whole of the weapons found in this arsenal is beyond our province ; but having been wounded with some of them, and seen, we trust, the hand that extracted the