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we think lightly of that man's religion who tells us that he has been washed in the chrystal stream, and yet reposing in his slothfulness, strives to direct none to the fountain which hath cleansed him. No, Sirs, in the heart which grace hath touched, there is a holy principle upspringing which impels the man to publish to all around the love and loveliness of that Saviour who bled on Calvary for him.
Convinced of this, we devote but brief space to the intelligence of the day : we seek not to make our Magazine valuable as an ephemeral containing the greatest amouut of religious news : our numbers, thanks to our Correspondents, may be taken up when the hand which now writes is beneath the green turf of the burial ground, and may then be found as fresh and as invigorating as now. Unlike our popular contemporaries, our Magazine will never become an almanack of a by-gone year : it will be always telling of events and pointing to joys still to come, nor less so (and, reader, this is a solemn thought,) will be the threatenings, and forebodings, and dreadful lookings of judgment: they will be still to come.
There is one consideration which often delights us; we are no sectarian Magazine, unless it be of the sect which loves and prizes highly Jesus. Churchman and Dissenter, Baptist and Pædobaptist, contribute to our pages; and each frequently write us intelligence of the comfort they glean from a perusal of our monthly messenger. Here, forgetting the minor differences, but recognising essential similarities, they perceive they are servants of the same Master, and though travelling on different sides of the way, and wearing different badges, they know they are all journeying the same road, and will all meet at last in the same heaven, all clothed in the same livery, even the white robe of a Saviour's righteousness, and all be employed in singing the praises of the same God, who devised, and executed, and revealed in them the salvation which hath brought them there. Brethren, when the tempter would fan
up the flame of controversy to an unhallowed height; when he is prompting with words unseemly; just think upon this, and may God enable you to keep the “ unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
And now, brethren, “ we commend you to God and the word of his grace: be watchful, be vigilant, for your adversary the devil, goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith.”
Spiritual Magazine ;
* There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLT GHOST: and these Three are One.”
1 John v.7.
Jude 3. « Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
A NEW YEAR'S GIFT, Humbly presented to the Readers of the Spiritual Magazine ;
OR A FEW THOUGHTS ON 2 COR. V. 17. « Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : old things have passed away;
behold, all thinys are become new." --2 Cor, v. 17. In presenting my humble gift to the readers of the Saints' Treasury, I beg leave to propose one question. It is not to what denomination do you belong—but are you in Christ? Is Christ formed in your hearts the hope of glory? Do you find him to be precious to your souls? Can you say, with David, “ I love the Lord;” and with Paul, “ I know in whom I have believed ?” &c. Be assured that these are all involved my first great question-Are you in Christ? If you can answer those propositions in the affirmative, happy are you, O ye highly favoured, blood redeemed, heaven bound, spiritually illuminated, richly adorned, and grace taught followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Here you may be poor and despised ; but the world cannot produce another people so highly honoured, so greatly dignified, and so eternally blest as the followers of Christ. Most “ happy, therefore, are the people that are in such a case ; yea, happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Ps. cxliv. 15.0 how great the love, how rich the grace, that gave the church an everlasting standing on the Rock of Ages, and a dwelling-place within its blood-stained clefts. Rejoice aloud, 0 ye inhabitants of the Rock : for these are blessings more lasting than time, more honourable than the most noble crest, “ more to be esteemed than gold, yea, more to VOL. X.-No. 118.]
be desired than much fine gold.” Speak we of riches, they are richer than all the treasures of the sons of India : speak we of depth, they are deeper than our boundless miseries ; speak we of height, they rise higher than our crimes; speak we of their date, they took their rise in the dateless ages of eternity; speak we of duration, they endure for ever and ever.
In the words which I have selected as a foundation for a few remarks, there are three things which demand our attention.
1. What is implied by being in Christ. II. The effects produced. III. The evidences possessed.
First. What is implied by being in Christ. The church had a secret being in, and an election union with Christ, her illustrious Head, long before time begun, in whom she was chosen “ to be holy, and without blame before him in love,” Eph. i. 4. Thus she was sanctified or set apart by God the Father, and preserved in Christ Jesus to be forthcoming in the day of Jehovah's power, as the price of Immanuel's blood, and the workmanship of the Holy Spirit. Election is purely an act of divine sovereignty, irrespective of creature works, flowing from Creator fulness. Hence it was the sovereign will of the great I Am to choose from among the general mass a people for himself, that in them he might shew forth the riches of his grace, and that they as a people formed for himself might shew forth his praise. Did I say, it was the will of God to elect a people for himself? then his will to elect them is at once their election. The ends to be answered by eternal and personal election are as follow: God's elected sons and daughters were chosen to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to shine in his likeness ; to be partakers of his salvation here, and then to reign with him in heaven for ever. Dear reader, “give all diligence to make thy calling and election sure, that thou mayest have the enjoyment of it in thine own bosom, while thou art travelling through this vale of tears, and be enabled to “ give thanks, (as Paul did, on the behalf of the Thessalonians), unto the Father, because he hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.” Read attentively the following scriptures, Isa. xlv. 4. Ixv. 9. Mark xxiv. 42. Rom. viii. 33. ix. 11. 1 Pet.i. 2. 2 Thes. ii. 13. Jude 1. Rev. v. 9.
Having noticed the church's secret being in Christ from eternity, I proceed to notice the opening of heaven's grand arcanum, the development of salvation's well-ordered scheme, and the unfolding of divine relationship: or, in other words, the bringing of the elect, one by one, into the enjoyment of manifested union with Christ. This takes place in the day of regeneration, when the grace of election is brought down into the soul by the Holy Spirit; when the poor sinner is clothed in the best robe of Immanuel's righteousness, and baptized in the
fountain of his blood. The “ new creature” mentioned in my text, is very properly designated " the new man,'
« the kingdom of God within you,” and the law of the mind,” Eph. iv. 23. Luke xvii. 21. Rom. vii. 23. The formation of this in the soul is called a creation, Eph. ii. 10. This work is ascribed to the sovereign agency of God the Eternal Spirit, John iii. 3. It is not the new modelling the carnal mind; but the implantation of that in the soul which was not there before; namely, the graces of the Holy Spirit, faith, hope, love, zeal, fortitude, and patience. In this work man is passive; has no more to do in it than Adam had in his own formation, or than a child has to do in its formation in the womb. It is the Eternal Spirit's work alone, and he will surely do it by the use of such means as pleases him. When the new man is brought forth in the soul, light divine springs up in the mind. When Jehovah was about to create this our world, he said, “ let there be light ;" so when the Holy Spirit comes to form a soul anew, he commands the light to shine out of darkness; at whose all-commanding word, the true light shines, and discovers the darkness and depravity of the human heart. Now, the sinner becomes a saint, the lion a lamb, and the once disobedient wretch an obedient child. Grace has made him a new man, and given him a new name, which is better than that of sons and daughters; a name that cannot be cut off, but must remain before our God for ever and ever. Isa. lxii. 2. lxvi. 22.
Secondly. The effects produced. In viewing this part of the subject negatively, I would observe, that nature is not passed away ; the old man is not dead; the damning power of sin is taken away, but its life is continued for a season; the Canaanites are yet in the land. Regenerating grace makes nature no better; it is still enmity against God and his ways: and the only reason why it does not lead a good man captive, so far as it does a carnal one, is because it is subdued, and kept under by the uncontrollable power of reigning grace. While grace reigns, sin strives for the mastery ; the hostile powers of sin and holiness, light and darkness, faith and unbelief, maintain a perpetual war with each other, until the weaker lays down its arms, and quits the field for ever. While this strife is carried on in the soul, believers cannot do the things which they would, but to their sorrow they often do the things that they would not, which makes them groan being burdened ; until hey cry,
6 () wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death.”
In taking a positive view of the subject, there are, however, many things which do pass away in regeneration. Old customs and habits, such as sabbath-breaking, swearing, lying, stealing, taking the name of God in vain, and speaking evil of neighbours ; old saviours, old forms and ceremonies, old companions, and old desires, are now passed away. Grace implants a new disposition, and changes the bent of the mind to pursue the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Thus believers are brought out of an old into a new state of exist
Now they dwell in a new world, whose inhabitants are spiritual, whose air is pure, whose joys are solid, whose governor is the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, and he the everlasting portion of its spiritual sons and daughters.
Lest I exceed the usual limits of your pieces, I proceed to notice some of the new things mentioned in my text.
1. A new heart. The stony heart being taken away, a heart susceptible of the keenest feeling is given by the Lord, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 2. A new way. Saved from self-dependence, new-born souls are brought to walk in Christ the strait and narrow way, Phil. iii. 8, 9. John xiv. 6. 3. New views of the bible. Before, they were ignorant of its contents, but now they see Christ in almost every page, Acts viii. 37. 4. New habits. Now the poor sinner goes to the house of God to hear the word of life: besides, he is a man of much prayer ; he erects his family-altar, and having called his little ones around it, he pours out his soul to God in prayer for them, that they may, if according to the divine will
, be brought to know the Lord, and walk in his ways at an early period of their lives. See Gen. xviii. 19. Josh. xxiv. 15. Prov. xxii. 6. 5. New companions. Believers are constrained to forsake their old companions in sin, and to become companions of those that fear God, Ps. cxix. 63. 6. New troubles, new dleliverances, new pleasures ; and in the world to come, a new home, 2 Cor. v. 1.
Thirdly, the evidences possessed. Love to God, to his saints, to his ways, and to his word; hatred to sin, fervent prayer, godly sorrow for sin, fervent desire to live without it, and looking to the Lord for strength.
May writer and reader bear those marks of the christian character, and dwell securely in Christ, as Noah dwelt in the ark, while the proud waters rolled in torrents around him, and was preserved from a watery grave; so may we be preserved from the overwhelming floods of divine wrath. Blest with the enjoyment of this, may we have (if spared) a happy new year. O that the Lord may,
“Our follies past forgive,
Our souls divinely cheer:
Dear Lord, in this new year.
O may we persevere;
To help us all the year.
A COUNTRY MINISTER.
THE VERACITY AND FAITHFULNESS OF GOD, THE SOURCE OF ZION'S HAPPINESS, AND THE FOUNDATION OF
HER SECURITY. « God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent.
Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it
good.”—Numb. xxiii, 19. From the day that Israel left Egypt, until they entered into Canaan, their “ journey was a thorny maze. Difficulties and dangers continually presented themselves, and malicious and powerful enemies