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at any time like a flood, dost thou wrestle and strive against the stream, saying, “ Wretched inan that I am, who shall deliver me;" I am led captive by the law of sin and death? This says thou art on the Lord's side. A dead fish goes down the stream, but a living fish bears up against it, though it be borne down by violence. When the enemy comes in like a food, is not Christ thy great Head, and does not a look of him lighten thy heart, and inspire thee with fresh courage against the enemy? " They looked unto him and were lightened. “ Art thou not now and then longing to be with the triumphant company above, where there is no sea, no tempting devil or deceitful heart? And art thou not lightened to think that ere long the battle will be at an end ? This says that it shall be according to thy wish, for he will satisfy thy longing soul : and Christ in heaven is longing as much for thy company, as thou art for his : " Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.”
Remember, my Christian reader, that the believer while in this world, must lay his account to have the enemy come in like a flood upon him. Then put on thy harness, and be like the valiant of king Solomon, who have their sword girded upon their thigh, for fear of the night. Fight the good fight of faith, make stout and valiant stand against the enemy. For thy enemies are God's enemies as well as thine. The devil is his enemy, for he sinned from the beginning; the world is his enemy, for the friendship of it is enmity to God; sin is his enemy, it is the abominable thing that his soul hates. Now all God's enemies “shall perish, they shall consume into smoke.” Shall they consume away, and may not this hearten thee in thy passage? especially considering.
That the Lord of bosts is with thee, God is upon thy side : his name Emanuel, signifies God with us, God to espouse our quarrel, God to bruise the serpent's head, God with us to finish transgression, and make an end of sin, God with us to overcome the world. “ Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God.” And therefore triumph with the church, and say, “God is our refuge and our strength: The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, therefore will we not be afraid.”
The enemy is already defeated, and baffled by thy glorious Head and General; thou hast only a shattered enemy to grapple with: the children of Israel, speaking of the overthrow of Pharoah and his host in the Red Sea, sing this song, “ Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inbabiting the wilderness; the meaning is, that the overthrow of Pharoab and host in the sea, was a sweet encouraging meal to lsrael, in their travels through the wilderness to the beavenly Canaan, and was their pledge of victory over all their other enemies. Sú here Christ's victory over sin, death and hell, is a sure pledge that ere long, he shall tread them under his feet. VOL. IV.- No. II.
in Baith' and of the
Know, for thy encouragement, there are many triumping in glory, against whom the floods did run with as great violence as they do now against thee. The cloud of witnesses the innumerable company, and their battle was as hot as thine ; but now they are triumphing in glory, in white robes. Take courage, “ follow them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Take courage, believer, for the battle will soon be over, the time is short, the end of all things is at hand, and within a little time thy glorious General will sound the retreat, and call the off the field. There is a solemn triumph promised to the overcomer: and know for thy encooragement, thy General will bear thy charges in the war; for he sends none a warfare on their own charges. Thy God commands thy strength; he himself is the strength of Israel, the glory of their strength ; he will make thy bow to abide in its strength, and the arms of thy hand shall be known by the mighty God of Jacob, “ Out of his fulness thou shalt receive grace for grace.” Consider, there is no discharging of this warfare against the enemy that comes in like a flood; thou must either fight or die in the quarrel ; thou must either fight or be a slave ; thou must either fight or fall under the curse of God. “ Curse ye, Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof: because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”
The word of command is given by the glorious General, “ Fight the good fight of faith, stand fast in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be strong.” Will the soldier draw back, when the general gives the word? Let none of Christ's soldiers draw back the hand, not to obey, is death by the martial law of heaven. Then set up your standard of war against the enemy, in the name of Jehovah, God reconciled in Christ, saying with the church, “We will be joyful in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners ; and with David, “ They compassed me about like bees; but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.”
Take care of the enemy within doors, observe its motions, I mean the evil heart of unbelief; for if you do not, it will betray you; “ Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are all the issues of life. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, and adulteries."
Make much use of the Christian's arınour; as,
THE SHIELD OF FAITA. No fighting can stand before the enemy without faith. God's worthies, by faith turned to fight the armies of the aliens."
Put on the HelMET OF SALVATION, a well grounded hope of glory; this, like a helmet, will keep the head sate, when showers of darts are flying about you.
Get on the GIRDLE OF Truth. The truth and faithfulness of God in his word, by faith, is like a girdle, whereby the loios are made strong in the day of battle. It is by the word of truth we are
commanded to strengthen the weak hands, and to confirm the fee. ble knees.
Put on the breastplate of righteousness. By the which imputed righteousness of Christ apprehended by faith, which like a breastplate fortifies the heart, and emboldens the believers against all accusers and accusations, and enables bim to say, “ Who can lay any thing to my charge?”-this will make a man as bold as a lion.
Make use of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, both to offend the enemy, and defend yourself. With this weapon Christ encountered and overthrew the enemy in the wilderness, “ Thus and thus it is written.” With the same weapon all bis soldiers are to fight.
Be much in prayer, wrestling with God, calling for grace and mercy to help in time of need. Thus Jacob like a prince prevailed; “ by his strength he had power with God, he had power with the angels, and prevailed; for he wept and made supplication unto bim."
A HYMN OF PRAISE, PsaLM CXxxv. 2, 3.-Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, praise ye the Lord; for the Lord is good, sing praises unto his name, for it is pleasant.
Luke 1. 46–55.-My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.
He hath regarded us in our low estate. He that is mighty hath done great things, and holy is his name, and his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with bis arın. He hath scattered the proud in the imagi. nation of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled tbe hungry with good things ; and the rich hath he sent empty away. He hath holpen his servants in remembrance of his mercy, as he spake to the fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever.
Ver. 68.- Blessed be the Lord God, for he hath visited and redeemed his people.
Ver. 69–72.-He hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David ; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began. To perform the mercy promised to the fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.
Ver. 78, 79.-Through the tender mercy of our God, the dayspring from on high hath visited us. To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death. To guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke ii. 14.-Glory to God in the highest on earth, peace, good will towards men.
Ver. 30–32.-Our eyes have seen thy salvation, O Lord, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Luke iv. 18, 19.-The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, because he had anointed him to preach the gospel to the poor.
Thou O God did send him to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that were bruised ; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luke x. 21.--We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent; and hast revealed them unto babes ; even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Luke xi. 28–32.— Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. The queen of the south came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and behold a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve repented at the preach. ing of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas is here.
Luke xix, 10. The Son of God is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Ver. 38.- Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Psalm cvi. 2.- Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord ? Who can shew forth all his praise ?
Psalm cvii. 1.–O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever.
ON THE NATURE OF A SPECIAL CALL TO THE CHRISTIAN
MINISTRY. THERE is a piece in your number for March 1838, entitled, " A Divine Call to the Christian Ministry." But as there is no ana. logy between a divine call now, and that of Paul and the rest of the Apostles; perhaps it would have been more satisfactory to some of your readers, had your worthy correspondent more ini. nutely described the nature of what he considers a “special divine call.” Indeed, as Mr. Irons justly observes, “ There is a Divine Providence presiding over all the affairs of men-managing all the concerns of the church, and directing all the labours in the vineyard to their stations."
Now suppose a man, who for many years has been called by grace, yet, like Moses, conscious of his own defects, (Ex. iv. 10.) should be “ stationed" in a place where the gospel is not preached for miles round the neighbourhood. Would it be unscriptural for such a person, without any other previous qualification, to attempt to preach Christ there?
Having made the attempt, and finding that the Lord gives him a door ot utterance, and does not leave him to the “ contemptible necessity of reading essays,” but enables him to preach Christ to
the edification of a few, and also to the comfort of his own soul. Ought such an one to persevere in the work, or " wait” for the opening of what your correspondent calls " a door of utterance ?”
Though the character thus described may have passed the “ door of utterance," &c., and not “ the door of success,” but is constrained to adopt the language of the prophet, and say, Who hath believed our reports and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?” “A prophet hath no honour in his own country." John iv. 44. Nor, indeed, has a man who preaches the gospel in the vicinity of his native place, any scriptural reason to expect but few converts; for Christ himself “could do no mighty works in bis own country.” “Is not this the carpenter's son ?” say they. Is not his mother called Mary and his brethren James and Joseph and Simon, and Judas ? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things ? And they were of. fended at him.”—Mark vi. 5. Matt, xiii. 54–57. Surely 6 the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.”Matt. x. 24, 25. Nevertheless, knowing that salvation is wholly of grace, in its application as well as its accomplishment, he still goes on looking to the Lord to open the “ door of faith" unto his people, and gives them access into the grace wherein they stand, ihat they may rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Besides, should the exaltation of Christ be the sole object of the individual, and no sinister end whatsoever, but in doing what he conceives to be the work of the Lord, without fee or reward ; ought such an one to desist from the work, under the impression that he has ran without being sent? Or, ought he to console himself with the Apostle's words—“ We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things ?”—2 Cor. ii, 15--16.
It might have been expected ere now, that some of your correspondents would have been induced, from Mr. Irons' “hints,” to write on this subject; it is hoped, however, that the Lord will soon stir them up to it.
As Mr. Irons so justly spurns the idea of being called to the work by men ; will he be so kind as to favour the readers of the Gospel Magazine with his opinion on Public Ordinations also: and say if a man's conduct would be censurable by the scriptures, were he to administer the ordinances of the gospel without it. S-n B-mp. Oct. 29, 1838.
RUSTICUS. 000 THE MYSTICAL BRAZEN SERPENT,
Continued from p. 601.) 4. By whom was this remedy appointed ? Moses set up the brazen serpent : but he did so by Divine authority. It was God