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THE GOSPEL MAGAZINE. direction, to guide them externally, but these would have been an ineffectual guide had he not put his good spirit within them and thereby secured obedience to bis Divine command-as it was then, so it is now, God gives a spiritual nature, and then comes and dwells in it, and thereby secures obedience to his all-righteous will, and his will is our sanctification, and this is the Spirit, and the Spirit shows Christ and forms us in his image-Christ in you the hope of glory-to believe in Christ is true obedience it is the work of God to believe on him whom the Father hath sent all our own doings are in the flesh, but all our willings and doings, when the Holy Spirit worketh in us, both to will and to do, are spiritual, and must be acceptable to God, and fulfils the highest and greatest law that God ever gave, even the law of faith and love, which, as before mentioned, is Christ's new commandment, in which is merged every other law or command-the commandment of the Father and of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel is everlasting lifeneither this fath or love, or Christ, the author and giver of it, is revealed in the old law, nor comes by it, the object of faith and Jove is God the Son, our Saviour and Redeemer; Blessed Mary's faith and love acted upon Christ when she exclaimed, " My spirit huth rejoiced in God my Saviour"--and Simeon's also when he blessed God and said, “ Mine eyes have seen thy salvation." Hence, Christ, in the days of his flesh, saw the actings of faith upon him, and which he himself wrought, and exclaimed, “ Ob! wonan, great is thy faith ;" and, on another occasion, “ I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” So that he dwells in his new creation, and works therein according to his sovereign will and as it pleaseth him, and there he delights in his own working and pronounces a blessing on its subject. The Lord Jesus Christ may be safely trusted with the keeping of his own body which he has purchased with his own blood; besides the spiritual Church, which is called bis Body, are new created and sanctified, and shall be presented as a chaste Virgin to Christ. There are so many meddlers in the world, that they will not let the Lord God all-wise Almighty do what he will with his own, but they are sending the holy people who are married to Christ back to the old law as a rule to fetch their life from, and must dictate to the Holy Spirit to make The old law a rule by which to sanctify the spiritual man. Such writers would confine and limit the Spirit in his operations--they must be nibbling at the law, as if no one could show any good work but themselves, whereas, if we could see them as closely as God does, we should often see the workings of the old man break out in some awkward or unseemly way, or if they even exhibited a correct moral deportment, it is something of which they are so proud, as to vainly boast and make more of, than of the works of true faith and love. I asked a Minister of the Gospel once, with whom I was intimately acquainted, whether he considered the old law a rule of life to the believer, and took it as a rule himself, to
is people.inself is the and sanc
which he (the late John Bradford) replied, " If I were to take any rule I should consider the whole word of God the rule,-and not any abstract part of it ; but I look to the Lord Christ and the Holy Spirit for my sanctification, and, in ful6lling the same, to work it in ine and out of me according to their Divine ordination and ap. pointment, and as it best pleaseth them. I only know, says he, I would be as holy as God is holy, and the more I feel of his holiness the more I have of real happiness." Can this be complained of or objected to and this Godly man was also called an antiпотіап,
The Promises, which are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus, are the rule for faith and prayer. They were made to be performed by the Holy Spirit, and to be pleaded by the believer, who is enabled by the same Spirit to plead them in the name of Christ, and they are sure to all the seed. The proinise of life and sal. vation is by Christ and not by the law, there is a covenant of promise, and David said, “ He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” This covenant is a good rule to plead at the hand of God, that he may deal out to us all his covenant mercies, and sanctification is one of them,-indeed, Christ himself is the eternal righteousness and sanctification of his people. And he is made of God unto them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and, therefore, we affirm that to him that worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law-for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. The promises were all made to Christ for his people, and are the rule of their sanctification by the Spirit. If the old law could be considered a string or cluster of promises made for the believer, then it would follow they are part of the rule of his sanctification, but we apprebend the said writer will not go so far, because all the promises have refence to Christ, who is not in the law; for if they, which are of the, law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.-Rom. 4, 14.
And we would sum up the whole, by stating that God, the everlasting Father, the everlasting Son of the Father, and the Holy Ghost, is the rule of sanctification of his whole Church and people, for they are said to be heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ. The Father, Son, and Spirit, have an abiding indwelling in them, and answer all the purposes of their natural and spiritual life, and will maintain their appointed lot and stature, and be their eternal portion and inheritance, until we come to know more fully the riches of the glory of his inheritance in us.
To the Editors of the Gospel Magazine. . .
Portsea, Hants, Dec. 6, 1838. , ON CALLS TO THE MINISTRY. } GENTLEMEN, CONCERNING Calls to the Ministry, I confess there appears to me nuch misconception, both on the part of many who profess to posess such call-as also on the part of those who have endeavoured to erect a certain standard whereby men may judge for themselves whether they are really called thereto as Aaron was.
On the part of the former, if I mistake not, there frequentlr appears so much confusion, contradiction, and fanatical enthusiasm, enthusiasm, as clearly demostrates, to all who are forming a correct opinion upon such matters, that the individuals in question must evidently labour under a niost distressing, pitiable, and awful delusion
On the part of the latter, I think it will frequently be found, that the lines and rules laid down by them, as also the standard which they have attempted to erect in the consciences of men, are totally insufficient for the purpose for which they have given such rules, and erected such standard.
Without, Sir, desiring to be learned above that which is written, or seeking after vain glory, or wishing to be thought as possessing greater insight into such matters than others, I humbly hope that a few scattered thoughts, upon the fountain head, will not be deemed in your judgment as altogether unworthy a place in your truly excellent Journal.
Under the wfluence of a favourable impression that you will not reject my humble views upon so interesting and important topic, I will cominence by admitting that it is no uncommon case for men who have by God himself been called to the work of the ministry, to be severely and repeatedly tried with respect unto it. Indeed I scarce can conceive of a greater trial than when men are left, for a time, in a state of doubt with regard to a point, so necessary to ascertain for the peace of their minds, and the due discharge of their ministerial labours. Doubtless there are periods when the servants of God appear to see their way clear, consequently cannot then doubt of their call being according to the will of God. When this is the case, “like a giant refreshed with new wine,” they can take courage, and go on their way rejoicing upon the best and surest foundation. At other times it is apparent their views are so beclouded, confused, and indistinct, as to throw their minds into a state of darkness, if not of temporary derangement: then follow sorrow, vexation, and rebellion. Such is the severity of the conflict within, arising from that state of painful suspense, which at intervals they are the subjects of, that the whole system is thereby thrown into so great a state of excitement as scarcely to be borne, and which none but the Lord himself can remove.
Many are the marks, Sir, which distinguish a true from a false prophet. A false prophet " sacrifices to his own net and burns in. cense to his own drag :” that is, as I conceive, he seeks secular gain from his own quarter. Simony is the mainspring of all his actions. He is one who is continually carping of the sovereignty of God as displayed in choosing some to life, and in passing by others. He is one who perpetually nibbles at the doctrine of justification by the alone righteousness of Christ; and, in fact, he is one whose views upon the gospel of Jesus are so confused, contradictory, and unintelligible, as clearly prove to all who are led aright, that the light of the Spirit is not in him. The prophet Ezekiel declares with reference to all such, that, “if the prophet be deceived (in his predictions, views, ideas, &c. both as regards himself and others also) when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived (or disappointed, as the original it appears will bear) that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel." Chap. xiv. 9. Here, Sir, it is evident that the Lord leaves the false prophet to his own delusions, permits him to bring forth the sour grape, that sure destruction may eventually follow. Like the magicians and soothsayers, and diviners of the court of Babylon, they cannot bring the dream itself to the mind of the king, although if the king could have retained it, they might have invented some sort of explanation, bad it been for nothing else but to be “ clothed with scarlet, to have a chain of gold about the neck, and become the third ruler in the kingdom.” But, inasmuch as these astrologers, Chaldeans, and others could not bring the king's dream to his mind, the king considered them as fit objects for his resentment, and so were ultimately, by his orders, destroyed. Even so it is with all false prophets as described by Ezekiel: they cannot, from their own experience, tell the work of God upon the soul-what it is to pass from death to life-what are the real struggles, pangs, and throes of a spiritual birth ;-or what are the daily and hourly conflicts of the soul with the Prince of Darkness, and all the powers of death, hell and sin! Like the astrologers of the king of Babylon, they know not the dream for themselves, and expect they are told from the mouths of others, or learn it from the writings of those who have died in the Lord. They becomie dumb before the people as the astrologers did before the king; and so the dream passes away, and they cannot recall it.
The wisdom of the king was seen in rejecting his “ wise men,” and in his receiving Daniel, the true prophet of the Lord, who ac·curately told him his dream, and who faithfully gave the interpretation thereof TEKEL must be inscribed upon the fore.front of all false prophets—their kingdom, wherein the have trusted, must ultimately be numbered, finished, and rent from them, like unto king
Belshazzar !-his wise men perished from before the Lord-so must they!
However much, Sir, the servant of God may for a time be per. mitted to suspect the genuineness of his call to the stewardship, eventually I firmly believe the Lord will fully establish bim, in the glorious fact, that He was called of God, as Aaron was. I believe, Sir, that nothing less than the solid, conclusive, and sacred witnessing of God the Spirit, made to the heart, soul, and conscience, can ever fully set the mind at ease with reference to a point so truly desirable, momentous and necessary. Where this witness has not been granted, a degree of suspicion must ever remain upon the mind, that all is not right that the censor is filled with strange fire-and that the daubing has been with untempered mortar. For myself, I cannot but consider that if a man were possessed of all the calls, qualifications, and learning imaginable, and lacked the calling, qualifications, and teachings of the Holy Spirit, bis mind · would still remain in a perturbed state ; and nothing but confusion and sorrow would follow him all the days of his life.--"If the witness of men be great, the witness of God is greater.”
Upon examination, I think it will be found, generally speaking, that the true servants of God are men deeply tried in body, soul, and spirit-Men of much watchfulness, prayer, and temptationMen whose perplexities, sinkings, and sufferings are neither few, common, or slight-Men whose greatest aim is to exalt the glory of the Holy Ones, Father, Son, and Spirit, in planning, executing, and witnessing the salvation of the Elect Church of God. Men who are hated by the world, scoffed at by the mere Professor, and who bear in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Yea! and I also further believe they are men who experience many changes. At one time, like rebellious Jonah, they would fain take ship and sail to the most distant shores, if by so doing they could avoid delivering the message of the Lord. At another time they resemble meek Áloses, and plead their own weakness and insufficiency; forgetting, for a season, the ability and promise of the God of Jacob. At other periods they are like Peter, looking at the waves beneath, instead of at the Lord, who is above them all, and then, like him, fear they shall sink. While, upon other occasions, like Thomas, they feel the foundation of their hopes begin to shake, and the side of Jesus they desire to behold with their natural eyes, e'er they will believe that Jesus has risen from the dead!!!
Still, Sir, there are those seasons wherein the Servants of God are enabled to rejoice: they are not, through infinite mercy, always crying out with the Prophet, “ Wve is me, for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage.” No! blessed be the dear name of Jesus, that he does at intervals, make their souls like the new-mown grass after fruitful showers. He strengthens, encourages, and comforts them by the breathings of the Spirit, which cause the "spices to flow out, and give a pleasant smell." When the eye of faith is again brightened, lengthened, and strengthened, then the happy land that is
Vol. IV.--No, I.