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with betraying the cause of Christ, and with exposing his great name to blasphemy among the enemies of truth. 'Aha! aha! our eye bath seen it—where is now thy God? So would we (the council or gates of hell) have it, we have swallowed him up now. Ps. XXXV. 21-25.
How oft have sin and Satan strove
To rend iny soul from thee, my God!
poor soul once more realizeth the horrors of the horrible pit, and, half dead with fear and confusion, too far acknowledges that the enemy is true in his accusations, by taking advantage of which, the devil even disputes with the man upon the existence of God and of Christ : and the reality of beaven and hell too.
As the man has lost his peace, and every sensible sign and token for good from the precious blood of sprinkling, he thinks that he has no right to the interposition of the mercy of God, for he dares not attempt to recover by prayer that, which by prayer he could not keep; therefore is too weak to dispute with this arch foe upon such unfair ground, but may feel a faint inclination to repel, with-the Lord rebuke thee, Satan!
This thorn in the side not being yet extracted, wonder and amazement still keep possession of ihe mind, which is anxious to know what name this 'sin bas, and whether any believer ever fell into the same-to ask any one, the most daring and approved friend, a question of this sort, his soul blushes at the thought; because no one upon earth besides himself was privy to the crime; one blessed privilege he yet retains, that of consulting his Bible, which is to bim like the brook of waters to the hunted hart; in this book he may read of almost every sin, publicly and privately committed, by devils and men too —tancy, alert to obtain certain information on this critical point, pitches sometimes on this and sometimes on that passage of scripture—but settles, in some conclusive manner, on i Peter i. 6; 2 Cor. xii. 7; Gen. xxxviii. 9; Heb. xii. l; Ephes. v. 3.
Being certified that, by what name soever it may be called, God bath stainped death upon something very much like it, more than once ; stripped of all holiness in the flesh, and of all dependence upon past experience; with all the simplicity of a little child, or of a sensible sinner in the first moments of conviction, whose bosom, like the troubled sea. is unsettled respecting the issue of the present awful and truly doubtful case ; sometimes yielding to hope that God will appear again and speak peace to his troubled soulhope deferred maketh the heart sick, yea, and in this case so sick, as to make him blush to lift up his eyes to heaven, and even to dread the sight of the man who is famed in the church for having rich experience, clear and distinct views of the everlasting love of God, who accounts it both his meat and his drink to adorn the doctrine of his God and Saviour Jesus Christ in life and death. Anon,
fear supplanteth hope, and fills him with the most dreadful 'suspicions of his final ruin; to bend the knee, to supplicate the throne of mercy, is to him but solemn mockery ; to read the Bible in expectation of spiritual relief is not much better; his mind is too black, his conscience too guilty, his recollection of the circum. stance too keen for him to conclude that any thing short of a sensible re-application of the precious blood of sprinkling, and of Christ being formed in his heart the hope of glory, can bring him out of prison-restore to him the joys of salvation - heal the bones which sin hath broken-or establish his goings in the ways of God's commandments.
The only known means left for him to embrace is, the public preaching of the gospel, by which God has brought to light the hidden things of darkness, and made manifest the counsels of the heart. To this he may resort; yet, though black as the tents of Kedar, he may with some face arise and go about the city, in the streets where Jesus the great Shepherd feeds his flock, and enquire, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night
In this case hope may bụd into pleasing expectation that Gon, who by his faithful ministers manifests the savour of his knowledge in every place, will by his Holy Spirit send some Philip, as he did to the minister of state from the queen of Candace, to preach to him Jesus and the resurrection. But, if the watchmen (or ministers) of whoin he may inquire lave not been in the bitterness of death-in the horrible pit-in the fiery furnace-in the belly of hell-in Satan's sieve-and waded through that state where deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water spouts ; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
If they are strangers to these things, they have not been made partakers of the root and fatness of the olive tree-nor led into the same one way–nor taught by the same one spirit-nor baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost unto the death ond blood-shedding of Jesus Christ the same one baptismthey cannot be founded in experience solely upon the atonement of Christ, which is the one hope of our calling--therefore they cannot point out his case, nor speak to his experience-of course are but as dumb dogs, false guides, ravening wolves, and physicians of no value.
If the reader is in the secret of the Lord, he needs no other proof upon these points than may be gathered from two circumstances : First, let hin when telling his views and feelings in the present case (though he keeps the gross point secreted in his bosom) mark what wonder, amazement, and evidenț loss sit on the countenance of the majority of those to whom the relation is made, both minis. ters and people, to account for this strange work in a sinner's ex. perience. Strange it is because it is the work of God, but not too strange for the Scriptures to witness, and testify of—it ss stranger still that any man should be considereds and receive support, as a gospel minister, while he is a stranger to this strange work, Se
condly, let him attend to the relief which by public preaching is mostly offered, and without a breach of charity, the great expedients generally recommended are—strict attention to the ordinances of the church-fervent usage of prayer-close examination of the Bible--and constant endeavours to hope in the mercy of God. No true christian dares conclude or say that these are means which the believer ought to slight, or lightly to esteem; on the contrary, it must be confessed these are means in which the ever-blessed God meets his people, and blessed them with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. But, there are some trials appointed for the saints in which it appears to the believer that his prayer is shut out--the Bible is a sealed book and a dead letter, from which he can get no token for good-the mercy of God appears to be clean gone, and that for ever—and in public preaching there is no open vision ; the word is not brought home with power ; he sees not his signs; there is no prophet, nor any that knoweth how long ; he is therefore shut up, and there is no coming forth.
Exhortarion to religious duties in this case, whilst the mind is so confusedly dark, and sensibly chained in black bondage, is like singing songs to a heavy heart; they are flat, lifeless, and insipid as the white of an egg. Some may find fault, and say these are the principal means by which God gathers together poor sinners, and in which he meets and blesseth them; and if these are ineffectual we are not in possession of any other that can help in this case ; to which, be it replied that, in the writer's humble opinion, the spirit of the trial should be entered into : it is a fiery one, and the devil, that spiritual salamander, which is fond of bringing the saints of the Most High into the fire, should be traced in this fiery trial—the scriptural testimony concerning fierce and afflicting trials should be pointed out; that to a believer in Christ, there hath no temptation taken you but what is common to man; but is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. The reason for every trial to the believing man--they are for the trial of his faith, however fiery to the senses in the operations, that he might not stick in the mud of his own fleshly righteousness, nor take up with idols by the way, nor rest in any thing for peace and safety, but Christ and him cruci. fied; faith without fiery trials has no more beauty than a diamond in the bowels of the earth, nor more richness than gold in its native ore ; but, by means of fiery trials, with which the Lord trieth the rigbteous, faith, as a jewel, is bronght forth from the rubbish of earthly-mindedness, and, being more precious than gold, is by fiery trials proved to be the substance of things hoped for, and the eeidence of things not seen. Fourthly, Jesus and his complete atonement, with the fulness of grace and truth, and the infinite treasures of wisdom and knowledge dwelling in him; the saints' eternal union to him; and the necessity of living by faith upon him; and the blessed privilege of comparing ourselves with him ; namely, " that we are in the sight of God as he is; in all holiness, and true, and everlasting righteousness"-together with the utter impossibility of being freed from one particle of inbred corruption until these sinful bodies shall be purified in the grave, and made like unto the glorious body of the dear Releemer. A knowledge of these things will, to the sensibly-tried believer, inspire hope that his end will not be with the wicked, although in this case he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne the yoke
Such is the depth of the wounds which the true believer hath received in this fiery trial, that his faculties are brought more to a point in the matter of salvation, and the enjoyment of the same, than they were before ; or, to use the words of David, “it is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes." Probably the goodness may be discovered in the judgment and the experience of the man subsequent to his deliverance; for he now concludes that he is a sinner, and never shall be otherwise while upon this earth; that how much soever others may boast of being more holy in the body, yet in bim, that is, in his flesh, there dwelleth no good thing; likewise he concludes that Christ Jesus is a complete, all-sufficient, a most seasonable, and most suitable Saviour for such a sensibly ill and hell-deserving sinner: and to this blessed friend of sinners as the altogether lovely, and his great sal. vation as the one thing needful, he will look, and on him as the gift of God he will live for constant supplies, both in grace and providence, while life shall last.
Being thus taught, and having power thus to conclude, he proposes to himself that whatever sin besets bim in future, that however pinching, or small or great the guilt of the same may be, that he will not receive healing or cure in part or in whole for the same, till the precious blood of Christ by the Spirit's power is again made manifest in his conscience.
That however strong his desires after holiness are, or incumbent the duties of holiness may be, that no future temptation can surprise or take him at a nonplus; because he daily carries about a body of sin and death-he lives in a sinful world - he is, and will constantly be exposed to the devices of that restless soe, which as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. He is persuaded that, in order to live like an heir of God and joint heir with Christ, in heaven's three-fold dominion of grace, providence, and glory, he must live out of himself, upon Jesus, the everlasting head of the churh; which life the apostle thus expresseth : “ I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
APHORISMS BY WILLIAM ROMAINE,
No. L. There are many among us who seek for a justifying righteousness, by the works of the law, but were they acquainted with its demands, they would tremble ; for the least offence, if but in thought; they come under the corse. It provides him no remedy, and gives no hope to those who are under it.
It is much to be lamented, that believers in general take so little pains to get a clear knowledge of the docrine of the ever blessed and glorious Trinity, for want of which their faith is unsettled, and they are liable to many errors. Be diligent in hearing and reading what in scripture is revealed concerning the Trinity in Unity, looking up always for the inward teaching of the Holy Spirit.
In the covenant of grace the everlasting Son of the Father, who was true and very God, was made true and very man; and as the reasonable soul is one man, so God and man is one Christ. Thus all the perfections of Jehovalı, rendered what he did as man's surety infinitely and everlastingly meritorious.
If thou art a believer and yet weak in faith, be not discouraged, thou hast as good a title to Christ and his righteousness, as the strongest believer : because thy right comes from the free grant of the word of grace, and when apprehended by faith, all is thine. O thou of little faith, why then dost thou doubt?
God is able to save us from the very being of sin here, as well as in heaven, but it is not his mind and will. He will have us to live by faith, so that every moment to keep us dependent on Christ, or we shall be sure to fall.
A Christian, means one, who has received, unction from Christ : the same Spirit which is in the Head is in the members, for he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit, and is as intimately united, more than the body and the soul in one person. This constitutes the Christian.
Remember, just so many comforts as you have, so many crosses may you have. The cross grows out of the comfort, the dearer the comfort often proves the bitterest cross.
We learn, by experience, that the humblest christian is the highest; and he does njost for Christ, or rather. Christ does most vor bim, who is sensible without bim that he can do nothing. This is the principle of all our activity; through Christ strengthening us we can do all thing.
Mr. Jones of St. Saviour's, Southwark, last words were, “ A sinner saved, a sinner saved !! Here was a dying triumph. To live in the Lord is heaven upon earth; and to die in the Lord is the heaven of heavens.
I am a living witness for Jesus how happy it is to live by faith in him. And Jesus himself is a witness, how happy it is to die in