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away. These easy, laughing professors, as well as the laughing ungodly, will yet have to weep, and if grace prevent not, they must weep for ever in hell; this is an awful thought, but not more awful than true, for none but the truly poor and needy will be suffered to remain (after death) in Zion, and these shall be called holy (Isaiah iv.), and are written among the living in Jerusalem; they are one with eternal election and all its advantages.
Now, my good Theophilus, does not this deep and daily necessity fire your soul for the new covenant truths of the Bible, and for every one of the good ointments by which Immanuel's name is as ointment poured forth? Fear not to come out from all half-way professors, let them be who they may; honour the Lord with your confidence, and he will honour you; be bold for Him, and He will be bold for you. Stand out for his blessed truth, and He will stand out for you; fear neither fiery furnaces nor lion's dens, nor Haman's fifty cubit high gallows; hearken to no Pharaohs, who are saying, ye shall not go very far away; listen not to such, stay not in all the plain of Egypt, hasten to the promised land of freedom, the land, the gospel land, that floweth with milk and honey.
But you have not only this deep necessity, you have also an unquenchable love to the truth; and can you easily leave what you so supremely love? And where and how can your love be kept up, increased, and made to abound? But just where God hath loved you. Did sin abound in the fall? Grace hath, in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, much more abounded. Did sin abound in your personal origin? Grace did much more abound in and by the Babe of Bethlehem. His holy infancy has both taken away your unholy infancy, and established for you a heavenly infancy. Has sin abounded in your heart? His heart abounded only with perfect holiness and perfect love to God and man. Has sin abounded in your life? Grace has much more abounded by the life of Christ. Do in firmities still compass? He will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and iniquities He will remember no more. Has sin abounded to corrupt you in every part? His blood cleanseth from all sin. Has sin abounded to your condemnation? Grace shall much more abound to your justification. Does sin, in spite of all your strivings, often gain the mastery? Grace, when it does not abound by power, will abound by pardon. Does sin abound unto death? Much more shall grace abound unto the resurrection and eternal glory.
come short of the promise; but in your faith you do not come short of the promise, for you can truly say that you do embrace the Yea and Amen promise as your only hope; and as you do not come short in the faith of it, you will not come short of the fulfilment of it. But those who come short in the faith of the promise, who are not poor enough to need it, these certainly will come short in the fulfilment of it; these, not rightly believing God's truths, cannot enter in because of unbelief: thus the one gets possession by faith, the other comes short by unbelief, and faith is the gift of God.
You then, my good Theophilus, have that living love to new-covenant truth which no mere professor ever did, or ever can, possess; and these gospel endearments keep the soul alive and lively.
But you also fear God. You dare not deviate from the order of his covenant, but feel that you must seek Him after the due order. You shudder, you recoil at the thought of making yourself wiser than God, as though you knew better than He does what is proper for the conversion of sinners, and for the government and well-being of his people. His holy Word, therefore, has your most solemn reverence. Like Micaiah, your language is, "What my God saith, that will I speak;" and if in so doing you get an evil name among men, rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
These, then, who are poor in spirit, and love and fear Him-these are the few that are chosen; they are chosen to be his witnesses, and they can be his witnesses, for they can, from their own souls' experience, bear that testimony which justifies Him in all the transactions of saving grace; and so the Scriptures are fulfilled, which saith, "Wisdom is justified of her children." It is not very likely that the Lord would choose those to be his witnesses, who speak self-contradictorily, and mix up works and grace: such get their testimony from another quarter.
The few are chosen to be vessels of mercy, and how unitedly and gladly do they acknowledge that it is of the Lord's mercies that they are not consumed-that it is according to his mercy that He hath saved them!
They are chosen for the defence of the Gospel; and as they well know what that Gospel is, they are well fitted for this work. They know what they are contending for.
They are chosen to worship God in spirit and in truth, or in a true spirit, in contrast to a false, wavering, yea and nay spirit. And so, in the true spirit of the true Gospel, their souls do homage to God; yea, they praise Him with their whole heart, and thus glorify God.
They are chosen to walk in true unity to the true brethren, and in all those brotherly kindnesses by which they are to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour.
And although you often come short of conformity to the precept, yet you will never come short of a single iota of the promise: the flesh is weak, the spirit is willing, and the Lord knows how, and when, and where to take the will for the deed. He is not an austere or hard man, but meek and lowly in But the natural man cannot be a true witheart, and his yoke is easy, and his burden ness, nor conform to new-covenant mercy, light. You have been made to fear lest a pro- nor defend the true Gospel, nor worship God mise being left-and there are certainly pro-in a Gospel spirit, nor dwell in true union mises left to them that believe-now you I say to the true brethren; but a few are chosen have been made to fear, lest your faith should to be the Lord's servants, and He does not not be the faith of God's elect, and so you turn away even A LITTLE ONE.
OUR BRITISH BAPTIST CHURCHES.
THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST, stop me. Oh, how I groaned in sorrow, and
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
A SERIES OF SHORT LETTERS ADDRESSED TO
My much beloved Brother in the faith, and in
wished I had not bound myself to go! After some severe sacrifice of feeling, the clouds opened, and I left the Paddington Station at four o'clock, was in my brother Vinden's bedroom before six o'clock, and there in earnest prayer I sought for a word to carry up before the people. On rising from prayer, and opening a Bible which lay on the table, these words were laid in my mind:-" And Moses said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray Thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin; and take us for thine inheritance."-Exod. xxxiv. 9.
A few moments' meditation, and I went to my post. Mr. Alldiss had preached to them in the morning; Mr. Beacock in the afternoon; and Mr. Henry Allnutt on the day previous; it fell to my lot to finish up the anniversary services; and in doing so, goodness and mercy strengthened me, and under a feeling sense of the solemnity of the work, I spoke a long time to the people. Between the friends of truth at Reading and myself, there existeth a happy union of spirit, and a joyful day would it be to see the right man settled over them as a useful and honourable pastor and preacher of the ever-flowing streams of salvation. I found the Reading Church deeply grieved at the recent cruel attack made upon the ministerial character of the late Mr. James Raynsford, of Horsham, in Sussex. The church at London Street, Reading (as well as very many other churches), found Mr. Raynsford's ministry unusually refreshing, establishing, and edifying; therefore, they sorely feel the attempt made by some to write disgrace upon his grave. I trust he is
Having to wait some time for the train to take me on homeward, I surveyed the externals of this little town. I walked carefully through it; I saw one chapel, one church, and a host of low paltry houses where poison is sold, and I concluded that pure religion was at a low mark here; while the paths of the destroyer are very thickly strewed. There is in this part of the country a profession of religion that stands in forms, is expressed in modern scholastic fictions, and results in ministerial, congregational, and circumstantial failures. Andover and Whitchurch, Basing-"without fault before the throne." stoke and Winchester, with many other towns and villages in Hampshire, are almost destitute of a vital, energetic, and decidedly discriminating testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus. My heart is very full; I could lay before you volumes of matter illustrative of the condition of the churches, the peculiar experiences of some of the Lord's people whom I have met in my travels-and especially as descriptive of the mysterious path, through which your elder brother, the writer of these lines, is daily passing. I must only give you a small leaf from my note-book at a time. If a day of full freedom be ever granted to me, then I will hope to unfurl my banner, and fully declare all the way the Lord hath led me while in this desert I have trod. But now I am so oppressed and filled with earthly sorrows, I must silently bear the reproaches of the enemy, the slights of the brotherhood, and the censures of all who misjudge my conscience altogether. A glance at my present journey is all I must give you now. Last Lord's day I preached three times, and arose on Monday morning with a heavy heart. I was pledged to take one service at Reading Anniversary, and then to proceed into these parts. But thick dark clouds threatened to
The next morning (Tuesday), May 13th, I travelled from Reading to Basingstoke, and from Basingstoke to Andover, where the bishop of the Shipton diocese met me with his carriage-Mr. Dyer, the recently settled pastor of Long Parish, also being with him. Across the Hampshire hills, and down into the Shipton valley we were driven-through showers and sunshine-arriving at our Brother Mower's chapel about half-past two; it was full of people; friends had come in vans, carts, and on foot, from several churches round, and a very happy-looking company were there gathered together. At the last moment I was helped to speak from these words,-" Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. Oh, let not the oppressed return ashamed; let the poor and needy praise thy name." "The dark places of the earth" are those unhappy regions, and those unholy hearts where the life-inspiring rays, and soul-constraining powers of the Gospel have never fully been received. In those dark deserts, Popery and prejudice, ignorance and delusion, perversion and persecution have reigned, and still continue to deny God's truth, to distress God's people, and to
deceive the fallen sons of men. Asaph bcsought the Lord to "have respect unto the covenant," for, by the blood of that covenant, all Christ's prisoners are to be "sent forth out of the pit, wherein is no water." We see from these words how the ancient Church grieved over the ruins of the Fall-how her faith rested (not in the free-will powers of mortal man, but) in the undying engagements of the everlasting covenant-and how, in times of darkness, she put God in remembrance, and cried unto Him to "have respect unto the covenant"-to bring oppressed souls to his mercy-seat-and there to release, and relieve, and restore them; and so to enrich the poor, and to bless the needy, that they might praise his name. How often do we go to the word of truth, to the throne of grace, and to the worship of his house, burdened and op pressed! How often do we return ashamed, because unbelief and a host of infirmities have there distressed our minds! This, indeed, has been my path for very many years. But for earnest, seeking, praying souls, a time of jubilee will come.
MR. EDITOR,-I here give you an account of the baptizing at our place the last Sabbath in March, 1856.
It is the custom of the place that the persons who are about to join the church by baptism late their experience before the church and congregation. We began the service at eight in the morning. Our large meeting-house was filled. A solemn sight to see such an assembiy on such an occasion! We began with singing, after which one of the young men was called upon to pray. Not four years ago he was a swearer and a daring sinner; he addressed a throne of grace, and had sweet liberty. After prayer was concluded, I called upon our female friend to come forward and tell out in her own way how the Lord met with and what He had done for her. I did, with others, fear for her; but the promise was made good to her, that "as thy day, so shall thy strength be." She began by stating that she was at the first led to think about religion, and to attend the meeting, because her husband did attend. She sted that it was while hearing the Word was brought home to her heart with saving power. Her tale of mercy was pleasing.
The afternoon service being over, we repaired to the pastor's barn, where a large company enjoyed their tea. It being found impossible to get one-half the people into the The next person was one of our male chapel, the evening service was holden in the friends. He is not, like some, favoured with a barn. Brethren Mead, Mower, Dyer, and my-gift to express himself with ease; but the self addressed the meeting; and I believe the seed threshed out in the barn that night will never be lost. It is hard labour to travel to these country districts; but when we see the families gathered from different quarters, and when we receive the blessing of so many who are filled with joy and peace in believing, we are strengthened to hope the Lord will not let us suffer loss.
The next morning we had to travel over the Hampshire hills again, a distance of about 14 miles; and the showers of beautiful rain came in such thick succession, that between them we could not pass; but our good bishop provided us with a covered carriage, and himself became our coachman; so in safety we were conveyed to Long Parish, an extensive village near to Whitchurch, where a beautiful Baptist chapel is the scene of Mr. Dyer's labours. Paul's words to the Ephesians had, that morning, been shining in upon my mind, where he speaks of one of the great results of our salvation,-"That we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ; in whom ye also trusted," &c. Some exalting views of Gospel truth filled our hearts with gladness, and in happy freedom we spent the day. A beautiful barn was richly hung with boughs and bouquets-where many took tea. In the evening Mr. Dyer gave us the history of the Church at Long Parish; and Mr. R. Mower, in a very long address, exhibited both the interior and exterior of the Gospel kingdom. The Long Parish pastor has promised to give the history of the cause. It is valuable. I must say, for the present, farewell.
C. W. B.
Having this spring and summer travelled thousands of miles, and laboured hard, I hope every month to furnish you with some of the notes I have taken,
Lord was his helper. He has been a man wh has always lived a moral life, attended to his work, strove to please his employers, and kept close to his church. He began to come to us, and felt an increasing desire to hear the Word preached. One Sabbath morning I was led in much anguish of spirit from the well-known passage, "but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." It pleased God to make that sermon the happy means of his conversion to God; it will, by him and others, be long remembered; and with much heartfelt feeling he told out what great things God had done for him.
The other person who spoke was the husband of the female, and he spake well, and with much deep feeling, and amidst tears, how he was led to come, and what changes he had gone through, what conflicts he had had, what temptations had assailed him; how he had often thought the earth would open her mouth, and he should go down into the pit; and this was brought about from several sermons he heard me preach, until I preached from "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? I shall yet praise Him." That sermon was not only made a blessing, but a rich and lasting one; and even to this day there is no other portion that will make him look up with such pleasure. He has been in our Sabbath school as a teacher.
The other was our good friend William Stock, who is a widower, and has seen and gone through deep afflictions, having last year lost a good and godly wife, to whom the Lord had made me useful, and who died a most happy death; instead of my baptizing her, I had to bury her; and shortly after her death, the Lord took from poor William his youngest son. He spake well, and was very thankful to the Lord for his goodness to him.
In the evening we began the service at five o'clock; and the meeting was thronged to excess. The four persons were baptized; and after that was finished, our friend Parker gave out a few verses, and we held a prayermeeting in the chapel. We found it good. May the Saviour ever keep us! I have been permitted to baptize 16 persons while here. J. EVANS.
happy position of Manoa and his wife of old-to
"Then give all the glory to his holy name,
Yours affectionately in Jesus,
BROTHER BANKS,-Believing the welfare of Zion lies near your heart, I take this opportunity of stating how (through the mercy and goodness of our covenant God) we are getting on at Providence Chapel, Halstead, Essex.
CLAPHAM. DEAR MR. EDITOR,-As a watchman on the walls of Zion, and one of her very few faithful chroniclers, I make no apology for sending you a few lines for insertion in the "VESSEL," expressive of the Lord's gracious dealings with that portion of his visible Church worshipping at Garner, where of late, to his honour be it said, our Beloved has come into his garden, and has tasted of his pleasant fruits, and has once more put his broad seal of approbation upon the humble instrumentality of our dear pastor, and has favoured him with fresh seals to his ministry, which was evinced publicly on Wednesday evening, the 30th April, when we had the high joy of witnessing our dear pastor lead through the waters of believer's baptism 15 We had our anniversary on Tuesday, the persons, 4 males and 11 females, all of whom 3rd of June. Brother Bloomfield gave us were enabled to give a satisfactory testimony two savoury discourses, preaching the Gospel of a work of grace in the soul, and to assign of the Blessed God from the heart. So much with meekness a reason for the hope formed so that there is a savour of that Name, which within them; and we believe, that never is above every name, left upon the hearts since we have existed together as a little of his dear family. The attendance and colchurch, have we been favoured with a sea-lections were as good as we could expect. son of more solid joy, or of more savoury refreshment, than we were permitted to enjoy on the evening when these dear saints cane into our little camp to testify what the Lord had done for their precious souls, and to declare their allegiance unto the great King of kings, and their desire to follow Him in all the ordinances of his house, regardless of all obstacles. As our dear friends varied in years (their ages ranging from 18 to 80), even so diversified was the manner in which the Lord had dealt with them in leading them to identify themselves with the cause and people of the Lord; for we had the testimony of the giant, the man of full stature, the young man, the weakling in faith, and even down to "thinkers" upon his name and "hopers" in his mercy; but such, by the way, as dare not think on any other name, or rely for salvation upon anything save the free, the boundless, the unmerited, and incomprehensible mercy of our covenant God in Christ Jesus, so that we have had no hesitation in saying unto them, "Come in, ye blessed of our Father," in humble confidence that they with us will be found at last among that happy number who shall surround the throne of God and the Lamb through the countless ages of eternity, and join the sweet and never-ending song in praise of that matchless love, that precious blood, and that irresistible power which, in eternity past has chosen them, in time has redeemed them, and in eternity to come will glorify them beyond what human thought can conceive, or human tongue express.
We feel the Lord has dealt very bountifully with us, and has permitted us to occupy the
Relative to our position in spiritual matters I have the pleasure to inform you that our beloved minister, Mr. John Thurston, had the pleasure of administering the ordinance of believer's baptism to three sisters on the morning of the 8th of June, 1856, in Box Mill River, in the presence of a large assembly, and who behaved well. Our minister addressed us from Acts, 2nd chapter: "Then they that gladly received the Word were baptized." Such of us as know the grace of God in truth could say it was a time of refreshing. We see our Lord will honour his own divine institution. His command to his called and faithful servants is, "Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel;" "He that believetli and is baptized shall be saved." Blessings for ever on his name, to crown it all with, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
There are more looking over the walls of Zion whose hearts the Lord hath touched, and who, by the blessing of the Lord attending the word spoken by our minister from time to time, we hope will soon give them selves up, first to the Lord, and then to his Church and people, according to the revealed mind and will of the great King of Zion.
When brother Thurston first came amongst us (nearly twelve months ago) we were very low; but we have a good gathering together on the Lord's day, and prayer meetings and Wednesday evening lectures are much better attended. As a church of God we have much to be thankful for, and much to humble us. May peace be in her walls and (soul) prosperity in her palaces. THOMAS ROOT
ORDINATION OF JOSEPH WARREN, AT | ples of the Christian faith, men were fighting; NEWICK, SUSSEX, ON MONDAY, JUNE 9.
faithfulness to God, to the Lord Jesus, to the Holy Comforter, to the Scriptures, to the Church, and to all who either listen to, or profess the Gospel, is therefore of mighty moment. He spoke of the minister's work, of the minister's wants, of his warfare, of the solemn warnings written for him in the Word; and lastly, of the minister's reward. Mr. Joseph Chislett then addressed the church in a good wholesome spirit; and the services of the day were closed. The history of the church as read at Newick, and Mr. Warren's experience and views, as written by himself, we hope to give in our next.
A FRIENDLY HINT.
THESE happy services commenced by Joseph Chislett, of Walworth, reading and praying; after singing, Samuel Cozens preached from 1 Cor. i. 2, "the Church of God at Corinth." A sober and practical distinction, whereby the Church of Christ differs from all formal and nominal Churches, introduced the subject, which embodied seven principal ideas, richly clothed with new-covenant truth and Gospel matter. Mr. Cozens first showed that the true Church was a chosen one, that her salvation originated in the foreknowledge, in the divine purpose, and in the omniscience of the Eternal Three-One Jehovah. 2. It is a reTo the Editor of the Earthen Vessel. deemed Church, redeemed by the precious DEAR SIR,-Detained at home on Sunday blood of the God-Man, God's co-equal, co- evening last, I took down from my booketernal Son. Blessed illustrations of redemp- shelves two or three back volumes of the tion mercies were here given. A soldier in VESSEL, and although I had read them bethe Crimea was wounded seven-and-twenty fore, yet all appeared new; and as I turned times, but was neither killed nor taken cap-over page after page of the histories and tive by Russia; so, vessels of mercy may be wounded by Satan, may be afflicted by sin; but they cannot be taken captive by Satan so as to be bound by him, and by him to be buried in death and hell. 3. God's Church is a regenerated Church, begotten again, they cannot tell when, nor how; but the fact of their internal panting for God, proves it. They are born to know God in his law, to know God in his Gospel, to know God in his spiritual blessings, to know God in the precious atoning blood of the Lamb. If I sympathise with dear Hart in one thing more than another, it is in that sentence: Great God, I'm clean, I'm clean." The preacher's witness to the peace-imparting and sin-removing blood of the Lamb, was conclusive, and very powerful. His declaration of his own soul's sufferings as a condemned sinner, a struggling sinner, and as a Christ-viewing sinner, was exceedingly expressive of a heart baptized into the realities of eternal truth. In the afternoon, C. W. Banks asked the questions. The Report read, and the answers given by brother Joseph Warren, were of universal interest. To a crowded assembly of earnest listeners, the statements made by Joseph Warren, as evidences of his conversion to God, his call to the ministry, and his determination to abide by New Testament laws, ordinances, and doctrines, were received with considerable feeling and satisfaction. It has never been our privilege to witness a more spirited and happy settlement of a pastor among his people. The chapel and grounds were filled with cheerful Christians taking tea; after which, Mr. Warren opened the evening service by reading and prayer. C. W. Banks then gave an address to the pastor, from the words" Be thou faith ful unto death; and I will give thee the crown of life." He referred to the painful fact, that in this day, there were great minds employed in writing down, and preaching against, three essential principles: 1. The redemption of the Church by the sacrifice and offering up of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of the final perseverance of the saints. 3. Of the distinct personality and essential work of the Holy Ghost. Against these great princi
origin of churches, coupled with the most
A LOVER OF THE EARTHEN VESSEL.