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Many are the marks, Sir, which distinguish a true from a false propbet. 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 bis 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 beconie 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 bave 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 éxamination, 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, sinking's, 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 Åloses, 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, “ Wue 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,
Wbile Ged's dear saints can preach and pray,
Shame and disgrace quite weigh me down,
PART II. Consolation afforded him by the Lord's application of His precious promises to
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haveu.-Psal. cvii, 29, 30,
My soul, from thy state of despondency wake thee,
To a throne of rich grace, in haste, 0, betake thee,
From life's healing tree, with sweet fruit most delicious,
Behold the fowls of the air ; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Consider the lilies of the field, &c. O'ye of little faith.Matt. vi. 26. [Read to the end of the chapter.]
PART III. His grateful acknowledgments for such unexpected and unmerited favours, so freely
· bestowed upon a guilty worm.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; and healeth all thy diseases.—Psal. ciii. 2, 3.
Thus spake the great I AM, and suddenly
Hail, glorious Trinity! What bright displays
How chang'd the scene, how bright the prospects are,
A sinner sav'd and wash'd in blood divine,
This fadeless robe wrought out on Calv'ry's tree,
Enough, my soul, let controvery cease,
All honour, praise, and power to them be given,
GEORGE BOND. St. John's, N. B.,North America.
Sweating great drops of blood ;
He bears the wrath of God.