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tcrial office, as well as every other branch of religious duty, that mere bodily exercise prqfiteth little. In every thing the heart must be engaged, or our services cannot be acceptable to a heart-searching God, who requires truth in the inward parts. If we are duly concerned for the interest of our glorious master, we shall not consider the work of the ministry as a task, but a delight; and shall summon all our powers to be employed and exerted in it. This work justly demands,
1. The utmost exertion of our understanding. The various and numerous subjects of study requisite to make an able minister of the JVew Testament, leave no room for lumber in our minds; nor allow any time for trifling and dissipation. The several windings and deceits of the human heart; the prejudices of men against the truth; the deep-laid, and destructive stratagems of the prince of darkness; the many dangers which daily surround both you and the people of your charge; together with the whole system of divine truth, and the several parts of religious and moral duty; and added to all these, the various branches of human science necessary properly to elucidate the whole counsel of God, and the most suitable methods of adapting the different subjects of divine revelation to the different circumstances of your people; at all which I cannot allow myself to do more than hint, will be sufficient employment for eveiy minister who would not be guilty of doing the tsork of the Lord Deceitfully. You must, therefore collect all your mental strength, watch your thoughts, keep close to your studies, and be diligent in them, if you wish to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
•2. Your conscience must be exercised in every part of your ministry; and you must endeavour to preserve a tender conscience. Take care never to slight the meanest soul who attends your ministry, nor the least scruple or difficulty which any of your people may lay before you. What appears trifling to you, may be important to them. Every man's views, scruples and distresses are sacred to himself; and we must treat them with as much tenderness and sensibility, if possible, as if they were all sacred to us.
Above all, preserve in your conscience a holy reverence for every tittle of what is contained in the Bible., Beware of perverting a single clause of divine truth. Frequently and conscientiously ask yourself, Does not this construction, or that interpretation arise from prejudice, from partyzeal, from attachment to system, or from some other cause, rather than clear evidence, and a cool, dispassionate attention to the passage in question? Beware, my Brother, lest any thing be admitted in your mind, or addressed to your people, which if you had adopted any system, or no system, if you were of any party, or of no party, would not strike you as the genuine meaning of the divine oracles, carefully examined, and compared on that subject.
"To conclude; let us all who labour in the ministry, frequently contemplate these weighty subjects ; and let the account we must give to our divine Master; the infinite value of the souls committed to our care; the comfort we shall certainly enjoy amidst our various and arduous labours; the success we may humbly hope for, if diligent and faithful; and the glorious reward we have in prospect; let these, and many other considerations with which the Scripture abounds, animate our spirits, and rouze all our active powers in the glorious cause in which we are embarked. Let us cheerfully spend and be spent in it: and may we, at last, hear with unspeakable pleasure, our blessed Master say, Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into, the joy of your Lord.' Of the amazing dignity we are utterly unworthy.— But, if faithful to death, we may assuredly hope for it, through Jesus Christ. To him be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
It is quite incompatible with our professed design in this brief sketch of Mr. Taylor's biography to notice every production of his pen, but we are unwilling to pass over silently "An Essay on the Truth and Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures," 200 pages 8vo. which he published in the year 1700, because we have always rcgarded.it as a very valuable piece, remarkable for its perspicuity and condensation. The substance of this Essay was primarily delivered, in an Association of Ministers, at Retford, in Nottinghamshire, and " the ministers and representatives of churches, then assembled, requested the publication of it." But though he complied with their wishes, he very prudently delayed its publication, until he was enabled to present it to the world in a more matured form; for he considered that "the reverence which so important a subject demanded, and the respect which was due to his brethren and the public, required' him' to take a more accurate and extensive survey of the Deistical controversy," than was compatible with the limits of a Sermon. If the more recent publications of Dr. Chalmers and Mr. Dick (of Glasgow) should be thought by any to have superseded our author's Essay, we must beg leave to remind them that the latter comprehends the substance of all that has since been delivered in the volumes of those distinguished authors; and that the proportion of persons who have it in their power to avail themselves of their writings is very small indeed when placed in competition with such as can only afford to purchase Mr. Taylor's "Essay." For the sake, therefore, of this valuable and interesting class of the Christian community, we could wish it always kept in a state that renders it accessible by them. It certainly exhibits the fruit of extensive reading, and no inconsiderable portion of learning, skilfully concocted, and rendered permeable to common capacities But we hasten towards a close.
About the year 1798, the General Baptist churches, with the view of obtaining a more certain supply of ministers to labour in the word and doctrine, came to the determination of establishing an "Evangelical Academy," and Mr. Taylor was engaged to undertake the conducting of it. In this laborious employment he persevered until a
late period of his life, and in the year 1807, he preached and afterwards published "A Sermon delivered at Loughborough, before the Governors of the General Baptists' Evangelical Academy." 8vo. 54 pages—This Sermon is entitled "The nature and importance of preparatory studies, prior to entering on the Christian ministry." It is characterised by the same good sense which adorns all his other writings; but as we have the misfortune to differ from him, and from many others whom we highly respect, in relation to the utility of Academies, we forbear any further remarks. Mr. Taylor, for several years carried on the bookselling business, having a shop near the Toll bar, Mile End, Whitechapel, where the writer of this narrative remembers to have called on him more than twenty years ago, and to have enjoyed some pleasant hours in conversing with him respecting the state of the Christian profession in different parts of the country, and some esteemed individuals in particular now numbered with the dead, while busily occupied in turning over his dusty volumes!
Mr. Taylor lost his venerable colleague, Mr. Brittain, in the year 1794, when he became sole pastor of the church, and continued to discharge the duties of the office until his decease which happened on the 26th November, 1816, in the 78th year of his age, having been more than fifty five years actively and successfully employed in the work of the ministry. We shall close this article with an extract from the General Baptist Repository, No. xlii. published flie 1st of February last.
Mr. Taylor's death was very
fecting to survivors, though peculiarly desirable to himself. H« had been indisposed during the preceding week; but preached twice on the Lord's day. The last discourse which he delivered, in his own pulpit, was a funeral sermon for an aged member
ehurch, from Heb. iv. 9. "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." It was remarked, by several that heard it, to be peculiarly solemn, affectionate and faithful. On the Monday, he went out to visit a friend; but on Tuesday morning, he had another attack of his disorder. He was able to sit up at dinner; and, after a few hours of apparently sound sleep, he rose again to tea. While that was preparing, he, as usual, took his pipe, and sat down to read. He was observed to be uneasy: complained of a pain in his breast; and falling back m his chair, instantly expired without a struggle or a sigh. Thus easily, and in a moment, did this veteran in his heavenly Master's service, lay aside his armour, and enter, there is no doubt, into that rest which remaineth for the people of God.
"According to hrs own request, his remains were interred, Dec. 5; in the burying ground, Bunhill Fields; and the Itev. Mr. Kello, an Independent minister, between whom and the deceased there had existed an intimate friendship for more than twenty years, delivered an impressive oration at the grave. Mr. T. having been disgusted with the parade which he had sometimes observed at the interment of dissenting ministers, left a solemn injunction, that his funeral should be conducted in the most plain and economical manner, particularly that no coach or hearse should 'be employed. This obliged his family to decline the respectful offer of the church, to provide carriages; and also prevented them from inviting his brethren in the ministry of different persuasions, who had distinguished him with their friendship while living, and whose presence at his funeral would have been esteemed an honour to his memory.
"His funeral sermon was preached, at his own meeting house, Dec. 15th, by the Rev. Robert Smith, of Nottingham, who had been, for more than thirty years, his fellow labourer in the same cause. Mr. S. read, as the foundation of his discourse, Paul's description of himself, 2 Tim. iv. 6, 8. "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness; which the Lord, the righteous Judge
shall give me in that day." From this text, he drew an animated parallel between the past experience, and future prospects of the great apostle and those of his departed friend. The congregation was serious and extremely numerous; that large meeting house being crouded to excess. And such was the general veneration for the deceased, that we understand most of the ministers of the New Connection have paid a tribute of respect to his memory, by preaching funeral sermons on the occasion of his death."
THE DEITY AND INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
[Substance of a Discourse delivered by the late Mr. Abraham Austin, at a Monthlv Lecture, Crown Court, August 1st 1809.]
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption." Eph. iv. 30.
Our subject this evening is the Deity and Influence of the Holy Spirit—a subject confessedly of vast importance; especially as it is, in both its branches, opposed by many professing Christians, and by others perverted, obscured, and abused. Accurate and scriptural views of it, therefore, are greatly desirable, and ought with diligence to be sought. May the Father of mercies favour us with the influence of that Holy Spirit, while we endeavour to collect and present to the mind, the substance of the scripture testimony concerning this interesting truth! I have said "the substance of the scripture testimony;" for I do not intend any regard to human suppositions or scholastic phrases, which have often been employed with the vain design of explaining that which is a matter of pure revelation; but to trace the facts as they are recorded by the inspired writers, and to mark the necessary inferences of their declarations; in other words, to shew by the word of God itself, that the Holy Spirit is not a created Reing—that He is not the Father nor the Son of Gold, nor the mere power of either, but possessed of true Deity, or a partaker of the same divine nature and perfections with the Father and the Son—that the Holy Spirit operates on the mind of every real believer in Christ Jesus, whence the solemn injunction is given, " Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, &c."
I. I am aware that in prosecuting this subject, there will, in some measure, be involved the province of another branch of divine truth, namely, the Deity or proper divi. nity of the Son of God; but I know that, to those who love Him, this will not be unpleasant; for indeed, the proper divinity of the Son of God, and that of the Spirit of God are truths inseparably connected. I proceed, therefore, in the first place, to observe, that both the Old and New Testaments teach us, that Jehovah,the God of Israel—the true and living God, is one Jehovah, Deut. vi. 4. Mark xii. 29. by which I understand, one supreme, infinite, eternal name, nature, or Being. Nothing, therefore, in those scriptures can be taught contrary to that grand and fundamental fact: and should any thing, consequently, he said in this discourse, which at first sight might seem opposite to it, I trust that upon closer examination, it will prove otherwise. If Jehovah, whom we acknowledge to be our God, is one—then must the Lord Jesus Christ, who is expressly and repeatedly called God, and the Holy Spirit to whom the same appellation is ascribed, be partakers of the same divine nature and perfections; for if the Son and Holy Spirit were only possessed of some inferior nature, then have we more Gods than one; since an inferior cannot be the same as He who is above him.
That the Holy Spirit is not the Father, but in some respect distinct from the Father, is evident by his being given of the Father, and tent by the Father; and it is
equally evident that He is not the Son, for He is sent as a Comforter in the name of the Son, and given at the request of the Son as another Comforter, to abide with the disciples in the room of Himself after He had left them and was ascended to his glory with the Father. Further; that He is not a created Beingis abundantly manifest: for He was engaged in the work of creation; and being the Spirit of God, He must be that almighty Spirit by which the Father in the Son created all things and performeth all his works. Hence we read that "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen. i. 2. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"— "Without Him was not any thing made that was made." Johni.l—J. But Jehovah, " by his Spirit, garnished the heavens." Job. xxvi. 13. Again; we are not to conceive that the Holy Spirit is the mere power, or almighty energy of the 'Father. This appears from those scripture testimonies which declare, that "the Spirit knoweth the things of God"—that He "searcheth all things even the deep things of God"—and "revealeth the things of God to men." These are not the properties of a dinne energy, or of almighty power merely, for there must be infinite Intelligence in this, 1 Cor. «• 10—14. Nor is it possible for these things to be done by the highest created intelligence. For, to know all things, and to reveal future things to others, is the distinguishing property, prerogative, or Perfection of Jehovah. That the Holy Spirit is possessed of true Divinity is evident from the various names and titles that are applied to Him in the scripture. These are numerous; but at present I mention only two.—He » termed the Holy, and the Etrrnal, Spirit. Holiness, strictly and absolutely, belongs only to Jehovahfor of Him it is said "Thou only art holy." Rev. xv, 4. And again "None holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee." 1 Sara, ii. 2. All others are only relatively so. Nor is any Being, strictly Eternal but Jehovah. He alone is "from everlasting to everlasting." All other beings are dependant upon Him—but the Holy Spirit is the £<er»a/Spirit and consequently possessed of true Deity.
Once more; The Holy Spirit is included in the one name in which the ordinance of Baptism is to be administered; for thus runs the Commission—" Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Malt. xxviii. 19. Mark the extent of this Commission. Believers are to be baptized "in the name of the Father." May the administrator stop there? No! his commission is extended—he must add, "and of the Son." May he stop here? Certainly not; he must add, " and of the Holy Spirit." There he must stop, for his commission is completed; it extends no further; and surely, it is most obvious that Lad not the Son and the Holy Spirit been possessed of the same one Divine eternal nature, they had not been included in the one name with the Father, and constituted the one object of worship iu baptism.
After what has been stated respecting the distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son; and his union with them in the Divine nature, it will probably still be enquired, "are we to conceive of this" distinction as personal?" To this I reply, that we ought never to forget that the distinction and union, under consideration, relate to that sublime and glorious Being who is infinitely exalted in glory and majesty above the possible comprehension of the most exalted creatures: and it doth not appear to me that the precise mode, or manner, of the distinction and
urlion peculiar to the Divine Being is revealed, though the fact be clearly taught, that "there are three who bear record in heaven," and that "these three are one." Nor is this a point of doctrine established, as many assert, upon a controverted text; for nothing is more manifest than that personal names and epithets are applied, and personal acts attributed to the Holy Spirit, and to the Son, as well as to the Father. Indeed every mode of speech by which we distinguish persons among men is employed by the inspired writers when treating of the divine Three: and while we do not mean, by the term person, as applied to the Holy Spirit, a separate Being, but merely use it to express that distinction which is peculiar to Deity, I see no impropriety in the use of the term. We know not what constitutes distinct personality among our own species, much less in the divine nature; and consequently, on a subject so sublime in itself, and in its modus so confessedly mysterious, it appears to me to be most safe and wise to express ourselves in scriptural language, after the example of the apostle of the Gentiles, who, in treating of the truths of the gospel says, " which things we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
II. The influence of the Holy Spirit upon the mind of man, is the second part, or branch of our subject. The scriptures clearly teach us, that the sacred Three, are concerned in the great affair of the salvation of sinners. The Father's sovereign pleasure, or gracious good-will is the source or spring of that salvation, Epb. i. 3—6. 2 Tim. i. 9. TheSenofGod came down from heaven to accomplish the eternal purpose by fulfilling the divine law as the substitute and representative of the