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(Continued from page 128.)
I RETURN again to the twelve sons of Jacob. I wish I had taken a more concise view of them; for I long to come to those richer types, whereby the LIFE and GLORY of the Church shone forth amid the darkness of the Law; but being led into Jacob's house, I cannot abruptly leave it; although the anniversary services this spring and summer have left me in a weak and nervous state, often fearing I must soon give up. The great Apostle of the Gentiles once wrote a sentence concerning himself, that I have deeply entered into. Many have reproached and censured me for allusions to personal sorrows and circumstantial trials- but truth is truth-and this is truth;in the year 1843, on a certain day, when I was awfully sunk in darkness of soul, I fell on the floor of Mr. Spettigue's printing-office, in Chancery Lane (all the compositors being gone to their dinner), and there I vowed most earnestly that if the Lord would reveal himself to my soul, in 'pardoning, restoring, and up-lifting power, I would never cease to speak of his mercy as long as I had life. In the summer of that year, the Lord sent deliverance to my captive spirit through the instrumentality of that dear man of God, Mr. George Abrahams, when he preached from the words. -"Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey." In the November of that same year 1843, the Lord sent my brother Elijah Packer, to find me out, and to fetch me out, and made him the instrument of thrusting me into the ministry, in which now for nearly 13 years I have stood in London, and in all parts of this kingdom; and I have never yet dared to refuse to go to any place where a request has been made that I go and preach the Gospel, albeit the trials and difficulties arising therefrom will never be told-but, like Paul, to my friends, I say-" I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of the trouble which came to us, being pressed out of measure; above strength, insomuch that we despaired of life." Pastors, whose labours are limited to their own churches, or nearly so, can neither sympathise with, nor kindly feel for, those who are made willing to "go forth, with weeping-bear
ing the seed basket;" and scattering "handfuls of purpose:" but some few know that such a man's life is, of necessity, so
divided as to almost entirely deprive him of quiet rest, and the comforts of church associations. Leaving all this (a bursting heart will "out" sometimes), let us go to the Word of God; and may the Holy Anointer reveal in us the wondrous grace of God as it began to be seen in the lives of ancient patriarchs, and the fathers of olden times.
Of the tribe of Reuben, there are two things of honourable mention. The first is that which may be considered temporal; the second is that which is more spiritual. In both cases, there was at first a misunderstanding; but after explanation was given, things went well. In the 32nd of Numbers, we read that the children of Reuben and Gad had a great multitude of cattle; and they sought for the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, to dwell in, those lands being well watered, and good for cattle. Here, in the first place, if we view this merely as a history, we see that the Reubenites and the Gadites were still industrious fellows; they had their eyes open; and having a multitude of cattle, they were desirous of fixing in such parts as might be suitable for the increase and well-being of the same. Moses, at the first, thought that these Reubenites and Gadites wanted to settle down in their nests, and not go out to battle, whereupon Moses read them a very stern discourse indeed-"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?" You may read that sermon which Moses preached in Numbers xxxii. 6-15. The answer of the men was becoming and good. They said, "We ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities. We will not return unto our houses until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth."
Here are many excellent features of character, which thousands in our Gospel day would do well closely to follow. As members of the common community, it was well for them to be concerned to have such a position as might be suitable for their large possessions. As fathers of families, and heads of tribes, it was binding upon them to watch over their welfare; and as men that feared God, and, sought the well-being of his kingdom, and obedience
BEXLEY HEATH, KENT.
On the third Sabbath in May, five believers passed through the ordinance of baptismthree from Orpington, and two of Bexley Heath. Our brother Wallis preached from Ephes. iv. 5, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Speaking of baptism, Mr. Wallis said: It was not the baptism of the Holy Ghost; that had ceased long ago. He thought we should be all frightened, and run out of the place, if, as it were, cloven tongues sat upon each of the candidates. (Read the whole verse, Acts ii. 2.) The baptism of the Holy Ghost was love and language; love prompted their zeal, and language to speak with other tongues. The operation of the Holy Ghost is the same as it ever was in the hearts of believers. He thought these things ought to be more insisted on by the Baptist brethren, because it is the only subterfuge the Independents fly to. Take this from them, and they have no argument left."
On June 10th, we held our anniversary. Brother Hanks, of Woolwich, preached a Gospel sermon from "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus
Christ came into the world to save sinners."
In the evening brother George, of Walworth, from "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." It was a soul-cheering day. Between the services, above 100 sat down to tea, which was provided by the friends.
DEAR BROTHER,-Through the good hand of God upon me, it was my privilege, on the evening of Tuesday, May 20th, to baptize four of the Lord's redeemed family in a river at Coker, after speaking at the room from Acts viii. 37. The Master of Assemblies was with us, refreshing the hearts of the candidates and the hearers also, so that, if spared, and as soon as my health will permit, I hope again to attend to this delightful and much neglected ordinance of the Gospel. One of the candidates was a very old traveller in the good way; but he said he should not go home happy without following the despised Lord in his own appointed way. Hence, my brother, we see sovereignty here most clearly dis played. The whole family called by grace, and walking together in all the commandments of the Lord blameless. What a mercy! "All that the Father hath given the Son shall come," &c.
While I am thus favoured to sing of mercy, so also must I experimentally of judgment; for I am now, and have been for a long time, suffering from the elongation of the uvula of the throat, which I have this week had operated upon twice with caustic; and should that not succeed, must undergo the more painful operation of having it cut.
But my Father is at the helm. He knows I need furnacing; and blessings on his dear Name, having helped me thus far, He will not leave me now. May the blessing of Joseph in all its fulness rest upon thy soul.
HIMSELF HATH DONE IT.
THERE are many deep and mysterious things in the providence of God towards his Church, the right of which no good man would dare dispute; but why the Lord suffers it, may well occupy the prayerful minds of the spiritual in Zion.
Affliction and death lays low the fond and only child of the Christian parent, while his neighbour and friend, oft oppressed with poverty, has around his table a numerous family. The active and useful member of a church, to whom his pastor and friends are looking with hopes of his long continuance as an "helper of their joy," by his ready and spiritual mind forming, in their view, an almost indispensable acquisition to the comfort and peace of the little circle where he moves; but just as the fruit of one so blessed is about being gathered, wasting and decay in his frame-he sinks-he dies-and appears
sometimes, which is more grievous, the mind, once so apparently spiritual, becomes, by a variety of painful causes, ensnared and spoiled for usefulness in the churches of
Again, there are members of churches, whatever they may be in the sight of God, who appear more of an hindrance to the prosperity of the Church, than otherwise; there appears in them a visible want of spirituality, and a sad proof of worldly-mindedness and sinful selfishness; but these live on, and last long; and when "like sheep they are laid in the grave," though their seat in the House of God may be vacant, yet the influence attending a godly life, the savour of their prayers, the wholesome counsel of their lips, and the fellowships of their hearts, are not missed by the surviving friends.
The righteous government of our God, concerning his ministers, may well occupy the minds of the godly in Zion; and holy plea sure, solemn inquiry, and deep regret will, by turns, be uppermost. Sometimes even from infancy, the Lord begins to work upon the minds of those he intends to bless as his own ministers. As of old, in the instance of Samuel and David, so in more modern and present times, the mind is just expanding, the heart beats for sinful pleasures, and the passions are just ready to break forth, and a practical plunge into open sin is greedily sought for; but God very graciously arrests the mind, and by a divine and wonderful change, brings forth his servant in all the fervour of youth and manhood, to labour hard, to labour long and successfully in the Gospel, and like the beloved HAWKER, GADSBY, STEVENS, and others, to maintain them unstained in their moral character, and unswerving in their testimony to the great doctrines of the cross, to the latest hour of their long and useful lives. These instances afford room for a pleasurable review to every Christian; as also that we have now good and godly men who have long stood approved of God and by the churches; and though their locks are whitening with age, and some of them begin to feel the body must soon die, yet the triumphs of salvation, truth, the mediation of the Saviour, the spiritual advance
ment of the Church in knowledge, grace, and troubled saint of the triumphs of Jesus, and the declarative glory of God, are themes and his needed succour for tempted souls. We motives that may well move them upward could say concerning such, as we may watch in communion with God, onward for con- their sinking frame, "Lord, why wilt thou not quest, and heavenward for eternal peace and spare them a little longer? Thou hast made rest. We are sorry that any of them should them beloved, useful, and blest; why take be allowed to turn aside even for a moment them now, when so many churches round to dispute with disputers, who seek by subtilty are wanting their valuable services? Oh, spare and cunning to sow discord where holy peace them a little longer, spare them, good Lord!" should reign. Is it not also a pleasurable But while love prompts our warmest wish, thought that God has his ministers amongst faith needs to check our repining, and grace the churches now, who are young, vigorous, to help us bear submissively, and in the spirit and truthful? and though some of their and meckness of our redeeming Lord, to say, elder brethren in the ministry may say un- when even the most endeared and useful men lovely things of some of them, especially if may die, "Father, not my will, but thine be God should give them more welcome and done." We do well to encourage grateful greater success amongst the churches than emotions, rather than angry and unrestrained it has been their lot to enjoy. Oh, may God repinings, inasmuch as they were raised up, embolden his ministers, with the Bible in and sent forth as heralds of mercy at all; and their hand, the truths of it in their heart, that they were blest so much and so long, the influence of it in their life, and the God and were not allowed to swerve from the of it as their glory, to go forth with an in- hearty and honest avowal of truth, to gain dependent mind, and a pure motive, to de-esteem from dying men, nor yet to outlive clare it to dying men, without stopping to inquire whether this man or that will give his sanction; but each having the broad seal of Heaven's approbation in his own conscience, be encouraged while he sings,
"Careless myself, a dying man,
Though all beside condemn.'
Again, we say, the government of God, and the doings of his hand in Zion, may well call forth solemn inquiry, united with an urgent appeal, as with the psalmist, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, and the faithful fail from among the children of men." We believe, though a Toplady, and many others, possessing great gifts and special grace, adapting them for special service, died in the midst of apparent usefulness, yet the gifts they possessed did not die with them, for every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights." But we may well regard the removal of a man of God with emotions and feelings that may lead us to inquiry before God, when we see the mind becomes expanded, and the heart warmed, and his acceptance in the churches increased, and his felt delight in the hallowed work of the Gospel more realized, and the demonstration of its being the Gospel is more evidenced in the heart of the saint-and it is proved such in humbling the heart of the sinner; friends gather round, and gratitude to God arises, truth pierces the heart, and mercy stoops to heal it; tears of contrition flow, and tears of joy follow; the minister's home is happy, his heart is gladdened, and the Church, in peace, spirituality, and numbers, increases. But soon, ah! in a few short weeks, the pulpit has lost its welcome inhabitant-the friends mourn-their under shepherd is no more-the heart once beating ceases now-the tongue once moving, "as the pen of a ready writer," is silent now-the good man sleeps; we know he "shall rise again," but not to preach the Gospel to sinners; no more on earth to point the weary one the only road to rest, or speak to the
their usefulness by an indolent and loose living, or an indulgence in a litigious and pulpit bitterness, until they became contemptible to all, and died unlamented and unloved.
We have been led to these remarks by the removal of our beloved brother, Mr. Nathan Horsley, minister of Zion Chapel, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, who died peacefully and happy in the Lord, on Tuesday, May 29, 1856, and just entering upon his 44th year, and more than five years' ministry at Chatteris.
Perhaps it would be wise to say but little more, as it is not needful to remind his friends of his worth; they feel his loss, and thereby learn his worth; but by the request of those to whom by grace, and ministerial usefulness, our brother was much endeared, we may give a few things relative to the Lord's gracious and loving favour towards hin next month, should the Lord spare us,"For to the praise of grace we sing, Though of a dying saint we tell."
And we may say of the Lord's gracious dealings, as of his bereaving providences,―
Himself hath done it."
COLNBROOK, JUNE 19, 1856.
Mrs. Mary Weekly, Longford, for many years a member of the Baptist Church, Colnbrook, Bucks, departed this life in peace, aged 76, resting on Christ the rock. happy, after being nine weeks confined to her bed; she fell asleep without a sigh or a groan, on Saturday, June 14th.
The writer of the above had the pleasure of spending a few days at her house last year. I found her dependence was solely on the great and glorious atonement, not a twig to hang upon but Jesus and his precious blood. Frequently perplexed with doubts and fears, but at eventide it was light.
strength of Zion for a more united and energetic defence of the Gospel against open assaults and secret treachery. The meetings of the friends who originated the movement have been held hitherto in Salem Chapel, Meard's Court, and Zion Chapel, Chadwell Street, St. John's Street Road. An address to the churches and lovers of the truth as the same is in Jesus, is already prepared, and will be published in a few days. It contains the doctrinal platform of the society, a declaration of the objects to which the society is pledged, and the means of action. A copy will be forwarded to you as soon as printed. I am, dear Sir (for the Committee), yours respectfully, T. JONES. The Vicarage, Lewisham, June 18, 1856. [There have been many efforts made to purify and to unite our churches. It has hitherto been found a difficult matter. May we hope that by this new association something permanently good will be effected?-ED.]
THE CRIMINALITY OF UNBELIEF. [It will be impossible to stem the torrent of criticism and controversy which "A Little One" has drawn forth. The insertion of some pieces may lead many to read "The Epistles to Theophilus" again. They may help us all more fully to examine principles of great importance, and much to our profit. This is our hope, our aim, our prayer.-ED.]
DEAR MR. EDITOR, I have read the 24th letter to Theophilus, signed by a Little One, but see error in it. His ascription of salvation in all cases to the free, sovereign, unmerited, and unconditional mercy of God, is very scriptural; but he certainly errs when he says that if a man be lost, it is not his own fault. This is never the scripture doctrine, but an addition of his own. He says, if we declare that a man's ruin is his own fault, we make the Word of God contradict itself. His whole argament lies in this sentence, printed in italies; but to talk thus, begging Little One's pardon, is to beg the question.
into water, it would appear straight; but if it appeared straight, that would show it was bent or crooked.
So when truth passes into the denser medium of our corrupted reason, it appears contradictory; but it is no less truth on that account. The proper question, then, is not whether Scripture contradicts itself according to Little One's ideas, if it assert that man's ruin is to be laid at his own door, but whether Scripture lays the blame of man's ruin on himself, or does not. That is the only question which can be considered. Take a few texts: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself;" "He that believeth not shall be damned," where the text plainly shows that the man is damned for his unbelief. What iii. 18, "He that believeth not is condemned can be plainer than the following text, John already, because he hath not believed in the Need I quote another text after that; the unname of the only begotten son of God"? believer is condemned, because he hath not believed? Is then unbelief no crime or fault in a man, when it condemns him at once? "The wages of sin is death," but is death the wages too of no fault and no crime as well?
The scripture doctrine is, that sin is imputed where a law is given and is violated; where a law is there is transgression.
We are a fallen race, and fell in Adam, and to serve God; but we are not on that account so by nature we have lost the desire and will relieved of our responsibility.
It is man's fault if he do not receive the Gospel, and if he do not in fact believe with the heart; but it is out of his natural power to believe. These two propositions are both plainly stated in Scripture, and he who denies either is unquestionably taking from the Bible, a most heinous sin in God's sight.
Please send this note to Little One for his
benefit, and I hope his next letter will show a rectification of his views on the important point of the criminality of unbelief; and such a letter might be also useful to your readers, whose eyes may have been blinded by Little One's erroneous statements.
I am, dear Mr. Editor, Yours faithfully, "LET'S HAVE ALL THE TRUTH."
The fact is, the assertions of Scripture may often appear to contradict themselves, to man's poor carnal reason. The reason is, we know but in part, and prophesy but in part. "Little One," by making everything all plain and smooth, and consistent to carnal reason, even when drawing its own unhallowed inferences, makes out that he knows altoge-Sin hath reigned unto death.”—Rom. v. 21.
Little One really throws up much dust in our eyes when he talks of the Word of God being made to contradict itself, and so he makes us, if possible, lose sight of the true question, which is, whether or not Scripture lays the blame of man's ruin on himself.
We do not exactly value his opinion of such a doctrine as he does himself, but we are quite sure God will not contradict Himself; A straight stick when put slantingly into water appears crooked, because it passes into a denser medium; but the stick is still straight, and I believe it would be quite possible to bend a stick in such a manner that when put
JOSEPH WILKINS ON SIN.
SIN A TYRANT.
O MONSTER sin, thou hideous form! no art can paint thy horrid shape, nor set forth the nature of thy rule. Not savage kings, who thirst for blood, could e'er compete with thee; their acts of cruelty and death, were innocence compared with thine. Nor untamed beasts, with hunger torn, full bent upon their prey, could e'er depict thy heinousness. Nor thought, nor tongue, sufficient to conceive or give the history of thy crime.
Thou didst divide the armies of heaven, of angels made devils, and damned them. Thou hast opened the bottomless pit, and filled it with misery and woe. Thou hast
changed the courses of nature, and cursed | large so much upon brotherly love. As to the nature thus changed. Thou hast mantled creation with mourning, and kept it groaning till now. Yea, sin stirred up a world to rebellion, and drowned a world of rebels. Sin destroyed Sodom when four had escaped, and turned to salt one of them who had fled. Sin made Pharaoh a monster, and mocked him at last as a fool. Sin made David a slave, and changed his son's wisdom to folly. Sin made Israel rebel, and scattered him at length to the winds. Sin made Judas a demon, and damned him at last with his gold. Sin scattered the apostles of God, and put their blessed Leader to death.
Thou tyrant of tyrants. Thou hast filled the palace with pain, and drenched the cottage with tears. Thou hast saturated the earth with the blood of thy slain, and never hast said, "'t is enough! Thou caterer of death, thou hast mocked the Creator, poisoned a race, cut a way to the tomb, and, but for thy CONQUEROR, hadst locked us for ever in hell. Brighton.
REVIEWS AND NOTES.
LOVE TO THE BRETHREN. WE have had no time, of late, to review new works; but we have promised to notice the first of a series of "SERMONS by the REV. JAMES WELLS" (published by James Paul). The title is "The Blessing of Abraham;" the text is Gen. xii. 3. "I will bless them that bless thee," &c., &c. We think good use has been made of the text, and its sense has not been omitted; still, to us it appears that the original drift has been considered quite in a secondary point of view. We take occasion here to state that we have noticed there is much preaching that may be described as preaching away from, instead of preaching into the words selected. We should all aim to avoid this habit, for habit it many times is. There are pleasant, precious, and profitable effusions of a thinking mind in this discourse. Here is one sample.
"You may depend upon it, the Word of God does not in vain speak so very largely as it does of brotherly love. This is a doctrine embodied in our text, and it has been one of the most powerful and constraining parts of my experience, since I have known the Lord. When you see men so eager to rake up the supposed or real faults of the children of God, and yet applauding a parcel of carnal profes. sors, and a set of Pharisees who would rob us of the liberty of the Gospel, what spirit is it that does that? It is the spirit of the devil that does it. 'Love covers the multitude of faults; but enmity and envy stir up strife.' It is well, then, for us to search what manner of spirit we are of. Give me the real children of God, whether they are wandering in sheep-skins and goat-skins, or whether, like Daniel and his companions, they stand high in the province of Babylon, and are in Nebuchadnezzar's palace. It matters comparatively little to me what their external circumstances may be. The Word of God, I say, does not in vain en
love to the minister, I have never entered into
"What is that?' I asked. 'All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven.' 'No,' I said, 'I cannot take that.' Why not? Because,' I replied,' I shall want to save it for you.' He went off very quietly after that. It is very easy to be severe on other people's faults; but, depend upon it, there is not much love where that is the case. How truly Dr. Watts says of the heart
'Our stubborn sins will fight and reign, If love be absent there!'
And I am convinced that if the vitality of God's truth does not keep up brotherly love, nothing else will. You may exhort people to brotherly love, you may scold them, and woo them, and try a thousand ways, but nothing will do it except God's truth. When the Lord speaks the word, and brings us into the enjoyment of his mercy and into the liberty of the Gospel, then we love the Lord's Abrahams, and Isaacs, and Jacobs. Say you, 'I do not know that I like them all three.' One says, I like Abraham, because he was a grave sort of man; but I do not like that Isaac, because he laughed so much.' Well his name was laughter,' and he could not help it. The Lord made him laugh. Another says, 'I don't like that Jacob, he is always complaining; he says, All these things are against me.' But I hope you will be led to like them all three. If father Abraham was grave, I am sure it is a good thing when we are brought sometimes into a solemn and grave state of mind, to prepare us for some sweet fellowship with