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essential that Little One should have been | They have sad experience of this daily
from an atheistical nature, a body of death which they carry about with them. Your correspondent, "A Blast," may think the Gospel commands are alike to all who hear it, but I beg respectfully to differ from him here. I believe a clear distinction of character is kept up in its addresses, exhortations, and invitation. The children's bread is neither given nor offered unto bondservants in the Word. God does not, I believe, therein exhort the dead in trespasses and sins to perform spiritual acts, nor invite them as such to receive spiritual blessings. The servants of the Most High show unto men the way of salvation, but they have no authority from their Divine Master to offer salvation unto any. Nor do they, by such a line of ministry, lay the unregenerate under no condemnation for despising and neglecting the salvation that is in Christ, as "A Blast" asserts. Elect angels do not despise or neglect the salvation in Christ, but desire to look into it, yet even these holy intelligences do not possess, consequently cannot exercise, faith upon it as the regenerate do by the Holy Ghost. All natural men who hear the Word do not alike despise and neglect the testimony of salvation in Christ; on the contrary, some naturally revere it, and in its ministration support it by their presence, influence, and worldly substance. "A Blast" concludes, that a man must have and exercise perfect faith in the salvation in Christ, or neglect and despise; such is not necessarily the case. The bondage of corruption is not the cause why a sinner does not come to Christ, though it be the cause of all opposition to Him, but the want of the essential principle, "Except a man be born again he cannot see, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."
a hearer, and had some knowledge of the Gospel prior to his call by grace, in order for him experimentally to know the direful nature of the sin of unbelief, and the neglecting of the great salvation. God's revealed will must be the standard rule in this case, and not the experience of the newly-convinced sinner. Sin is a departure from the strict given rule, but where there is no law there is no transgression. If the law of faith, the whole Gospel of grace, which excludes all boasting in the creature (which prescribed duty-faith does not), be not binding upon the unregenerate, then their want of the principle, and consequent exercise of spiritual faith in its glorious Author and sacred truths, is not their sin. And as the Holy Ghost generally works by the Word, and never contrary to the Word, we cannot believe that to be the blessed Spirit's conviction which is not in accordance with the truth. The convinced sinner who is alarmed at his state, may think, because he has been privileged to hear the Gospel, that he might have availed himself of its benefits, and have done what he conceives he could have done, and thereby been not only a better, but also a spiritual man; and the thought of what he is, and what he ought to have been, spially, may appear to aggravate his case and increase his condemnation; but who that is enlightened does not perceive in all this the workings of a legal mind? the man is not yet experimentally dead unto himself, and alive unto God, through Jesus Christ. When this is the case, he no longer holds to self-recovery nor blames himself ignorantly for not being the author of his own spiritual birth, but becomes divorced from the Law by the body of Christ, and serves God in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. This character alone Since the Lord in his matchless mercy is manifestly delivered from under the has quickened my soul and brought me to a Law and brought under grace, nor will the saving knowledge of the truth as it is in hearing of the truth, nor profession of Jesus, I never could see that duty-faith in Christ, exonerate a sinner from the claims reference to spiritual things, was a scripand penalties of the Law; no, nothing will ture doctrine, or that man was in any way do this but a living faith in Christ crucified, responsible for his own salvation, and as the end of the Law for righteousness never preached it. My aim has always unto every one that believeth. Then, that been to abase the creature, and exalt free which was a fact before our birth in nature grace; to show the sinner what he is as or grace through the finished work of a fallen creature, his responsibility to do Christ for us is made manifest, and by the whole Law, and his guilt, condemfaith we have access into that grace wherein nation, and death as a transgressor of it we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory-salvation of God, in Christ, and by the of God. Nor do any of God's ministers Holy Ghost-and its fruits and effects as need to go back to their first conviction of manifested in the experience and conduct sin in order to learn the evil of unbelief. of the regenerate. I must not multiply
must have been our portion. The South | Gospel ground must be the ground of may allude to his exaltation, and so the appeal, the ground of all real and acceptHoly Spirit of God brings the living able prayer unto our God. fragrance both of the sufferings of Christ and of the glory that follows.
Thus have we the full assurance of understanding (Col. ii. 2) that the doctrine Again, "Come from the four winds, O of the ever-blessed Trinity is a doctrine of breath, and breathe upon these slain, that the Bible, and, as such, we glory in being they may live." And again, the Holy led into the acknowledgment of the mysGhost is spoken of as personally and dis-tery of God, and of the Father, and of tinetly honoured or sinned against. It Christ. Acknowledgment is all we can arwas revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he blessed God, and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." Here we see the Holy Spirit is called the Holy Ghost, God, and Lord; but then the Holy Spirit did not thus favour Simeon apart from the love of the Father and the salvation of the Saviour; so that personal distinction here is not personal separation.
Again (Acts v.), "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." Again, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Other Scriptures, did our space allow, might be quoted to show that while the more general custom of the saints has been to call upon God in the unity of his essence, yet that under some circumstances any one of the eternal Three is appealed to, nor is one blessed Person dishonoured by another being prayed to, and for these two reasons; first, because they are one God, and, secondly, because one Divine Person never does anything without the other Divine Persons. Hence we see both personal sovereignty and subserviency ascribed to each Divine Person. "The Father quickeneth whom He will." Here is sovereignty. "No man knoweth the Father, only he to whom the Son will reveal Him." Here is subserviency. The Father does not reveal Himself, but the Son reveals Him.
Again, "The Son quickeneth whom He will." Here is sovereignty. "No man knoweth the Son, only he to whom the Father will reveal Him." Here is subserviency.
rive at, and we are not ashamed to glory in the very truth that the mystery is infinitely too great ever to be approached even by the highest archangel otherwise than by acknowledgment of its truth and blessedness.
We have heard that a Socinian once, while travelling in company with a Gospel minister, asked him if he could explain how three could be one, and one three? "Yes," said the minister, "I can, when you can explain to me how God exists at all." This laconic reply ended the matter.
From everlasting! What is this? Who can explain it? But is it not as delightful as it is mysterious? To everlasting!-no end! Who can explain it ? who can comprehend it? But is it, on this account, the less delightful? Yea, does not its very glory consist in its mystery, in its endless, endless duration? Blessed God! who that knows Him can but love Him; and in the Gospel God Himself is love. Our correspondent "Ready to Perish" will never perish: and our not knowing how to order our speech before God, is but of secondary importance, for God looketh on the heart, for if we know not how to speak to Him, He knows how to speak unto us, and it is not our speaking, but his speaking that puts us right. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with all who are "ready to perish."
EPISTLES TO THEOPHILUS.
MOST EXCELLENT THEOPHILUS,- In my Again, "The Holy Spirit giveth to every last I reminded you that many are called, but man severally, as He will." Here is sove-few chosen. I trust you are one of that few, therefore, you must be content to belong reignty. "What he shall hear, that he shall to the few. Let me, then, here point out to speak." Here is subserviency. Thus, you some of those divine teachings by which whether we call upon our God in the you have been, and by which you are, and by unity of his essence by the name of Jesus, which you will be kept firm in the truth and or whether, from any peculiarity of circum-faithful unto death, that you may receive the stance or feeling, we appeal to the Father, or to the Lord Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit, in either way we shall not err; in each way
crown of life.
First: a soul-humbling knowledge of your own heart. Such will be the workings thereof, that you will feel that, after the flesh,
Does it not make you loathe yourself in your own sight, and repent in dust and ashes? and does it not make you feel, that except you are born of incorruptible seed, born of God, your religion is nothing but a most awful deception to your own soul? and does it not make you look well to your goings, and try yourself by the Word of God, whether or not you are truly in the footsteps of the flock? and does it not make you cling with earnestness to the testimony of Christ that it is finished? and does it not account to you for where David was when he said, "He hath made with me a covenant eternal, with no one uncertainty in it," and all his salvation was here, and that he did not desire ever to add anything thereto or to take anything therefrom? He was satisfied with it just as it was; it answered to all his
not resting upon his branch-yes, even when it was yielding him no fruit-even then he would not have it altered; he knew that it was his security in the dark, as well as his joy in the light.
Take away, then, the incorruptible seed of which you are born, what would you be but a child of wrath, a thorn, a bramble, upon which the fire of hell must for ever prey?
you have no fear of God before your eyes. | terror to yourself? Your experience will confirm the testimony of Him who alone, altogether and entirely, knows the heart-that it is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Now, what, with such a heart as this, can the natural man do acceptably in the sight of God? Does the man dead in sin attempt at justification by the works of the Law? What has he in possession by which to obtain it?-A heart "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Now all the workings of such a heart are like itself, and savour of itself. However such workings may be gilded off, or under whatever form, or disguise, or mask they may appear, they are still nothing but the workings of old, fallen, corrupt nature, and so saith the Apostle (Rom. vii. 5), "When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our mem-desire; and even when the dew thereof was bers to bring forth fruit unto death." The motions of sins did work; there was nothing else to work; so that if anything moved at all, it must be sin; for in the flesh, even of the regenerated man, dwelleth no good thing. But the natural man is all of a piece; he is unclean throughout; but sees it not, feels it not, and, therefore, mourns it not. And does the natural man meddle with the Gospel? Every touch, as it were, of his finger is unclean; his very prayers are sin. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. This deceitfulness of your heart you will be every day learning, and will be a plague, a burden, a hindering, a drawback everywhere with you; but nowhere so much as in the house of God, at the Throne of Grace, in reading the holy Scriptures, and striving for communion and fellowship with the blessed God. This heart of yours will put the worst possible construction upon all the Lord's dealings with you, labouring to make you forget his mercies, and to fill you with hard thoughts of Him; and instead of looking to Him as a father, pitiful and of tender mercy, it will make you think of Him as a lion, or a bear, intending to tear you to pieces. These wild beasts within will overrun everything, and make your soul like the veriest wilder- Yet, but for this plague of the heart, there ness; and under a consciousness of this you would not be in you that cleaving unto the will see that if one thing towards your salva-truth which there now is. You therefore tion depended upon yourself, you, having nothing but a sinning nature, must have been eternally lost.
Now, my good Theophilus, mind this one thing, that what you now feel yourself to be after the flesh, you were when in a state of nature altogether. So here then there was no good thing in you. Your very soul was but a sink of sin, loathsome and filthy in the sight of a holy God.
As soon may a dunghill turn itself into a heap of wheat; as soon may a dog turn itself into a sheep; as soon the leopard get rid of his spots; as soon may the Ethiopian change his skin; as soon may dry bones turn themselves into living men-as the natural man do one thing to forward his eternal welfare. Now, what does all this do for you? Does it not make you at times tremble at yourself? Does it not make you at times fear that, after all, you will prove to be a Magor Missabib-a
Take away the substitutional sacrifice of the Saviour, where would you be, but under the Law and its bitter but righteous curse?
Take away the new covenant, and what would be, or could be, your security? Would not even the travail of the Saviour be floating about (as to its results) upon uncertainties?
Take away the Holy Spirit's care of you in carrying on his work; take away the Good Shepherd's care of you; take away the care of that Father, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and how long would you watch and pray? how long would you seek the green pastures and the still waters? how long would you, or could you, say, "I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth"? and if all your springs were not in God, would they not very soon run dry?
have the witness in your own soul's experience, that it is by grace, through faith, that you must be saved; herein then lies your necessity.
Forsake the truth-alter the truth-throw the doctrine of duty-faith in its face-make a confederacy with those who exhort dead men to do what God alone can, instead of preaching the truth to those dead men, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, and so becoming a sweet savour of Christ unto God, by telling them the truth in them that perish, and in them that are saved; telling the truth faithfully both ways. What then, I say, forsake the truth, or make a confederacy with its perverters? Never! No! the sympathies between the truth and the truly poor and needy are too strong for them ever to part; the rich, that is, the Pharisee-the Pharisee in whole or in part-sends the truth empty away, and so the truth will by-and-bye send them empty
and yet blessed are such, for the Saviour | Gods, and would give a priority and micomes to open the prison-house to them that are bound, and theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. This is what the Lord says of such, and He will, in his own time, say so to such.
But the chief matter we have in these remarks to do with is, the Name of the blessed God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.
In ancient times the difficulty was to maintain the unity of God, men being constantly tending to a plurality of gods; now, on the other hand, men have gone over into error another way, and so maintain the unity of the one God as to deny that distinction of personalities in which He is revealed in the Word.
Now, the blessed God is not one in the same sense that He is three; nor three in the same sense that He is one. So that although the doctrine of the Trinity be an infinite mystery, yet there is no self-contradiction in it; nor must we use any metaphor or simile whatever to set forth this mystery, therefore we cannot follow those who have tried to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity by the three leading faculties of the soul, the understanding, the will, and the affections; nor those who have tried to do the same thing by the three celestial fluids of light, air, and heat; and many other trinities of nature which men have pointed us to; but all more tending to obscure than to illustrate the mystery.
Let us, then, be content with the Word of the Lord; and there we shall find, in a very early part of the Bible, a plurality in God: "the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters." "Let us make man." And from after parts of the Bible we learn that this is a trinal plurality --that there are three. We need not, indeed our space does not allow us, here to demonstrate both from the Old and New Testament, this trinal plurality of persons, and these three are one. This doctrine of the Trinity is of infinite and essential importance; with this doctrine stands or falls the Godhead of Christ, consequently the atonement, and everything else pertaining to eternal salvation; but not even upon this attractive department must we now dwell.
We again, then, say that the blessed God is not one in the same sense that He is three, nor three in the same sense that He is one, for this would be a self-contradiction; He is but one as to existency. There is not in the Godhead a succession of existencies, for this would make three
nority, a superiority and inferiority, in the Godhead; for one divine person-a purely divine person-to be begotten by another divine person, is a figment of human imagination; for Jesus Christ our Lord is never once in all the Bible called the Son of God without reference to his complexity. If, therefore, He had not stood as the promised Seed, and in the fulness of time become man, He never would have been called the Son of God. There is not, then, in the Godhead any succession of existencies. There is but one existency.
The one eternal I AM, not we are, for that would imply a plurality of existencies; but I AM THAT I AM. Here, then, is the unity of one existency. "From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God."
So there is but one nature. He is divine; God is a spirit. But then this nature is infinite and eternal in all its attributes, immortal and blessed for ever
And there is also perfect oneness of mind and purpose: one Divine Person has no mind or purpose out of the other, because each being infinite and eternal, they dwell in each other, mind in mind. Were it not so, there must be three infinities, and which, from the very nature of things, is impossible, for infinity is infinity, and it is that kind of thing that there cannot be more than one infinity; but while the blessed God is in existency, in nature, in greatness, and duration, ONE, He is in the mode of his existence three, so that He is not in Himself a solitary, but a social being. Both the oneness and the plurality are infinitely delightful truths.
The Father is one person in the Godhead. The term Father, when used in a Gospel sense, is to be taken as a personal and relative term. The Divine Word, the " Logos," is also a personal and relative term. The term Holy Spirit is, as explained by Him who never erred, a personal and relative term. "He shall take of mine; He shall guide; He (not it but He) shall testify of me," &c. Thus we see Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, are new covenant personal and relative terms.
We may here just observe that one of these names is both interchangeable and universal to the Eternal Three. Hence (Isa. ix. 6), the Saviour is called the "everlasting Father;" so the Holy Ghost: "Every one that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me;" and this is especially the work of the Holy Ghost. And then
the term Father sometimes includes the of the new covenant to confirm the sworn blessed Three in one, as when the Saviour promises made unto the fathers, then says, "My Father is greater than I." He Jesus takes up and establishes the mehere speaks merely as man, but immemorial, or the oath and the promise by diately after as God-man: "I and my which He will be remembered in all geneFather are ONE."
"There are three that bear record in Are we then to come in the Name of heaven, these three are one," is a clearly-de-Jesus? What is this but coming in God's clared truth. It is an infinite mystery, but own Name? Jesus means Saviour, and it is only a mystery; it does not, as we before this is the Name of our God. It is a said, involve in it any self-contradiction; as Name by which He will be remembered there is in this mystery room both for the for ever. The people of God have never oneness and plurality of the Godhead. in any age come near to God but by faith We have then the Father in oneness with in the promised Seed, by faith in his the Word; and the Word was made flesh, atonement. This was, this is, this ever and thus appeared among us as the only will be, God's own way; so that to come begotten Son of God; then we have the in the Name of Jesus to a throne of Holy Ghost in oneness with the Father grace, is to come in the Name of Imand the Son. Take away the distinct per-manuel-God's own Name; the Name He sonality and equality, then away goes has given us to come in; and He will not eternal redemption, for no mere man can redeem his brother. Take away the oneness, then we make a schism in God, and shall become Polytheists, worshipping many gods. But while we have three divine persons, they are all in one existency, one nature, one in mind and will, and one in greatness, duration, and immutability; and thus what is done to the one is done to the other; in a word, He is one God, and yet so delightfully is He three persons, that one could take our nature, meet all the claims of law and justice, and establish eternal oneness between God and man. Upon this much might be said, but we must forbear.
deny Himself. Now Jesus Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, and the Edenic and Jewish way to God being closed, Jesus is, as He always was, unto true believers, both of Old and New Tes tament times, the new and living way to God; so that we still come to God by the great High Priest of our profession: in a word, in God's own Name. Jesus Christ is God's own Son, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; therefore let us embody in the term Father, the Godhead-Father, Word, and Spirit; and let us come to God in and by his own Name, His Name is Saviour, his Name is Salvation; this Name, this Salvation, is in and by his dear Son, who is God and the Son of God; we thus come direct and at once to God by his own Name. His Sinai Name is a consuming fire, a Name of distance, the mount must not be touched; but his Salvation Name is a Name of nearness; here He comes, takes up his abode with us. Our God is one: the manhood of Christ makes another nature, but not another person, therefore it is still God's own Name in which we come; nevertheless, while we thus come to God in the unity of his essence, we do no wrong to pray distinctly to any one of the divine Three. "Awake, O North Wind, and come, thou South, and blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow
Let us now see how this matter stands in prayer to God. Now we lay down as a general rule, allowing the exceptions which we shall notice, that the usual custom, as seen in the Bible, is to approach unto God in his own Name, in the unity of his eternal cxistence. Hence it is we read so much of calling upon the Name of the Lord; and this Name must be the Name that He chooses-his own Name. Take Exodus iii., verse 15, as a guide in this matter: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob: this is my Name and my memorial to all generations." Hence we find the Old Testament saints often saying, "O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; " and sometimes it is, " O Lord God of Israel," or " Lord of Hosts," but still keep-out." The Holy Spirit is spoken of as the ing up the idea of the unity of God. He will never be forgotten as the God of Abraham. As He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself, and this oath belongs to all the spiritual seed of Abraham. Now if Jesus be the mediator
heavenly wind blowing where He listeth, and so we take the above words to be a direct appeal to the Holy Spirit. The North may, perhaps, refer to the humiliation and death of the dear Saviour, as He endured all the blasts of the Law which