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duty-faith men dare not admit the new cove- | ble, that it is, therefore, their duty to be in nant in its own order into their system;-it possession of what God alone can bestow? would spoil the flesh-pleasing, eloquent, Pe- But does the Apostle allude to the infidel at lagian, part of their oratory. But, my good all? Does he not allude to professors who perTheophilus, be not thou like unto them. vert the truth, and so in reality deny the true record, or witness, or testimony (for any one of these words will answer to the original), which God hath given of his Son? And this is the record, or testimony, that God HATH GIVEN, not offered, but hath given to us eternal life, and this life is where it can never be lost, it is in his Son. Now he (as all freewillers do) that denieth the certainty of this life, maketh God a liar.
Again: "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."
The wrath of God abideth on him! of course it does; it came upon all men by their fall in Adam, and he who is not born of God is still under that wrath. None can savingly believe but those ordained to eternal life; is it, or was it, their duty to make their Creator before the foundation of the world ordain them to eternal life? The lost have no vital relationship to the new covenant, and, therefore, it is neither their duty nor their privilege savingly to believe. Again; "If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" Well, my good Theophilus, we have a very plain answer to this question-here it is, John x. 26: "Ye believe Lot, because ye are not of my sheep;" but men infer that it was their duty savingly to believe that is what men infer, but the Saviour does not say so; his explanation is, ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep." I am sure you, my good Theophilus, will prefer the wheat to the chaff, the dutyfaith doctrine is the chaff, the Saviour's planation is the wheat; and what is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.
Thus, my good Theophilus, you will understand the Scriptures much better without the doctrine of duty-faith than with it, as it is clear to you that if it be the duty of all men savingly to believe in Christ, then the new covenant loses its force and meaning. A testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no force at all while the testator liveth; but Jesus is risen to carry out every item of that testament which his death for ever confirmed. And you know this is all our salvation and all our desire. But how shall those professors escape who neglect this great salvation? A poor sensible sinner will never fatally neglect this salvation. His lanex-guage is, I am poor and sorrowful. Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high!
And you know also that the Apostles were unto God a sweet savour of Christ in them that are lost, because they have told the truth concerning them; and in them that are saved, because they have told the truth concerning them also; and the truth they have told concerning each is, that the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded; that the Lord had mercy on whom he would, and whom he would he hardened; that all by nature were alike; that it was grace that made men to differ. Thus were the Apostles unto God a sweet savour of Christ by telling out that truth which wins the election of grace to Christ, and conquers and confounds the others, and puts it out of their power to overthrow the truth or the counsel of God. His enemies shall be clothed with shame; but upon Himself shall his crown flourish.
"If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins;" but they believe not, because they were not of his sheep: nor does the Saviour tell them that they could believe, or that it was their duty to savingly believe.
"And when he is come, he will reprove (convince) the world of sin; of sin, because they believe not on me." Does this mean the sin of unbelief merely? no, certainly not. Take the words in their proper connection, you then get the sense: of sin, because they believe not in me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. Now, then, no one can rightly, savingly believe in Christ unless he be convinced of his state as a sinner before God; and as no one does by nature, or can believe savingly in Christ, therefore, in order that they may believe in Him, the Holy Spirit convinces them of sin; of sin, because without this conviction they do not believe in me, and then being convinced of sin, they then become convinced of the perfection of the righteousness of Christ; of righteousness, because I go to my Father; and then they go on to be convinced of the final negative put upon the Prince of Darkness; but what has this beautiful order of the Holy Spirit's work to do with the soul-deceiving doctrine of dutyfaith?-Again: "He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
The Scriptures bring home to every reasonable man's bosom a conviction of their truth; and it is the duty of every man to act according to the light thus brought to him; but if some be given up to a reprobate mind, and so deny the truth of the Scriptures, does it follow that, because they close their eyes to those convictions of which they are capa
"I gave her space to repent." This is the repentance of reformation which was her duty; but giving space to repent is one thing, to give repentance itself is another-quite another thing.
"How much sorer punishment!" Yes, certainly, apostate, malicious, persecuting professors, no doubt, treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath. It was their duty to abstain from that wilful conduct which they knew to be wrong.
A LITTLE ONE.
Theophilus will perceive that I have here run through those Scriptures quoted in a piece on page 194 of last month's "VESSEL." The writer of that piece signs himself, "Let's have all the truth." As I cannot, in my letters to you, take any more notice of him, I hope some one signing himself "Let's have nothing but the Truth" will teach him the way of God more perfectly.
OUR BRITISH BAPTIST CHURCHES.
THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST, that all them whose spirit God had raised
went to the work. I wish to feel, and I hope some of my dear people feel, a warm.desire to see such beautiful words as those in Isaiah lxii. 4 fulfilled: "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah (My delight is in her), and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married." Love to Christ in the hearts of his dear people will indeed constrain them to labour for Him. When we get more of this it will be well. The saints of God can sing very earnestly sometimes
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
THE THIRD OF A SERIES OF LETTERS AD
DRESSED ΤΟ THE THIRD SON OF AN
THE RESTORATION OF ZION CONSIDERED
Saturday Evening, July 26. MY DEAR BROTHER ROBERT,-After working as hard as brains and bodily strength would admit through another week, I am now leaving Euston Square in an express train, hoping to reach Woodford, in Northamptonshire, this evening, where Sunday- Secondly. Prayer to God for his presence School Anniversary Sermons are to-morrow and blessing to restore the Church to usefulto be preached. This Northamptonshire jour- ness and honour, is essential. When the Lord ney has been a long time in contemplation. said to the people of old, "I will take away The friends there have had a deal of trouble, sickness from the midst of thee," it was in and I have been sorely opposed in going; but connection with their obedience to the voice I must be there, if the good hand of God will of the angel which the Lord would send behold me in safety. I hope there is a some-fore them: "O hear his voice, said God, for my thing to be done that none on earth beside name is in him." Prayer is like that angel. can do, and that thereby the Lord will be True wrestling prayer is of the Lord's giving glorified and the Church made to rejoice. and working; it goes before our deliverances, This is the third consecutive Sabbath I have it goes before our recoveries, it goes before been from home. It is a trial to me and to our usefulness and happiness (if it is not alsome of my friends; but my work in the mi- ways recognised in the experiences and exernistry in London has so long appeared declin- cises of the saints). I mean this: if a good ing, and the calls for me in the country have man shall say to me, "I had mercies brought been so numerous and urgent, that I have to me before I prayed for them—I had delivery much left the former and cleaved to the verances wrought for me before I called upon latter, although fears, like floods, have threat- God for them,"-well, that may be; but still ened to drown my faith, and make a wreck I will say, prayer went unto God before of my feelings and all I possess. The Church those mercies and deliverances came to you. in Unicorn Yard has long hung her harp on In proof of this, hear what our Lord said to the willows. The cloud over my head has Peter, "Simon, Satan hath desired to have gathered thick, and that cloud has darkened thee that he might sift thee like wheat; but my mind; the people could not see (in cir- I have-I have in the past tense-prayed for cumstances) where I was, so off they ran, thee, that thy faith fail not." Oh, this is a lest in the darkness of the night they should mercy that our great High Priest ever liveth lose their way. I could tell you of many to make intercession for us. Still the printhings; but I hold back for the present, ciple holds good. If Zion is to be restored-if not being without a little hope that in some the Church is to prosper-if the ministry is way, and at some time, the Lord may yet to be successful, I will say, in the wholesome lift up my head and set my feet in a more words of Joseph Hart, "the remedy is before even path. thee-PRAY." When the Fall came in, with all its floods of sin, Satan thought he had cut off all intercourse with God, and that Adam's fallen family must for ever be driven to darkness and eternal death-the Black Sea of iniquity covered the land, and the waters of Jordan overflowed all the banks, so that no sinner could wade through, swim in, or climb over those awful floods; even Christ himself, when He came into the work of suretyship-when He came to stand in the sinner's stead-He cried out, "Save me, O God, for the waters are come into my soul!" Ah think! He not only had the water-floods of the Church's transgression beneath, but there were the vials of wrath poured out
As I left home this evening my heart was a little stirred within me with a desire to be the instrument, under God, of once more raising up the walls of our earthly Jerusalem; and while I thought on these things, a plan for effecting such a restoration appeared to fall into my mind. I will give you the outline, it may be useful to some.
First, then, there must be deep and holy desires in the hearts of the people toward such a restoration. The building of the altar, the making of the ark, and the rearing of the tabernacle, all were done by express command from heaven. When the second temple was to be built, it is said (in Ezra)
"Come Holy Spirit, heavenly dove,
With all thy quickening powers;
from above. Oh, what tremendous words are those! Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water-spouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me." Travelling in the greatness of his strength, Christ passed through, finished his work, returned to glory, and now for all his own He pleads, and
CONFESSION OF FAITH.
doth prevail. Love in the heart, and prayer AS DELIVERED BY MR. BENJAMIN DAVIES, AT
HIS ORDINATION AT LEIGHTON BUZZARD.
going up to heaven are two essential works toward restoration. The other five I can only name in this paper.
Thirdly. Unity among those who are on the Lord's side. Where this is to be found, I know not. There are but few Churches, or de-pastor. nominations, or even Christian people, that have union one with another. Still there is a secret and a vital unity among true believers-it is a unity of faith in the person and cross of Christ as the source and means of salvation.
Fourthly. To effect a restoration, we must have the diligent, the honest, the persevering use of all the appointed and of all probable means. Industry in Zion, and the going forth of earnest labourers, is one of the
best features of our times.
Fifthly. A willingness to sacrifice time, talent, and possessions for Christ's kingdom is another essential.
Sixthly. Faith leaning on the promises which predict Zion's prosperity; and Lastly. The removal of all stumbling
years in Raunds. An account of the Sabbath I spent in Woodford, I will try and give you soon. Dear Robert, I am still thy brother,
C. W. B.
blocks and hindrances.
The day that beholds these things shall see a restoration in our Churches.
Woodford, Northamptonshire.-The train conducted me safely to Ringstead station, about eight o'clock on the Saturday night. There, on the platform, I stood a perfect stranger: black clouds were in the heavens, rain was pouring on the earth, and what was before me I could not tell. I passed over the rail into the road: a boy said, "Are you going to Woodford, sir?" "Yes," I said. He had a gig-we mounted; but I was full of fears, for I thought it was a fly-away, and we had such steep hills to descend that I was rather disposed to walk than ride. We had proceeded some distance when a beautiful shower came down upon us. My little coachman and I crept under the hedge, and the horse and gig stood in the road. As I had no umbrella with me I was well watered; and in this way walked to the farmhouse of Mr. Mitchell, where the greatest possible kindness was shown me, both by himself and his godly housekeeper, Miss Ruffell, for which I shall ever feel thankful, I am sure. I was soon introduced to their minister, Mr. Clements, whom I believe to be a very worthy brother; and after some refreshment retired to rest.
WE gave last month a report of one portion of the proceedings of the above interesting occasion; and promised the following articles of faith as delivered by the newly-chosen
1st. I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, being written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and that they are the only ground of the Christian faith, and the only rule of his practice.
2nd. I believe that there is but one living and true God, that there are three distinct persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who are equal in nature, power, and glory; and that these three are one, one in essence, one in purpose, one in all the attributes and perfections of Deity.
3rd. I believe in the distinct personality and Deity of the Holy Ghost, who is not an office character which the Father or Son may assume, but a distinct person in the Godhead.
4th. I believe that our first parent Adam stood as the federal head, and representative of the whole human family; that when he fell into sin, we all fell in him, and have derived from him a sinful and depraved nature, and stand condemned, the guilt of his sin being imputed to us.
5th. I believe that all men in a natural state are totally unable to recover themselves, or even to perform any spiritual act whatever, neither have they any desire for that which is spiritually good, but are the willing slaves of Satan.
6th. I believe that Jehovah did from all eternity choose a people out of the world for Himself, without respect to their works, either good or bad, and that this choice of them was an act of his own free and sovereign grace.
7th. I believe that Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God was set up from all eternity, as the Mediator of the New Covenant, the covenant head, representative and surety of all God's elect.
8th. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ did assume our nature, becoming bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, that He might bring us to God.
9th. I believe that Jesus did really suffer and die as a substitute for the elect, whereby He made all that satisfaction for their sins, which the law, and justice of God could require, so that justice is satisfied, and the law magnified and made honourable.
Woodford is a small town in Northamptonshire, it stands partly on a lump of pretty little hills, which gently drop you down into a sweet quiet valley, and by looking out of that valley you may see Ringstead and Raunds: the latter place is where our brother Abbott is located, and they say he is the soundest man in the neighbourhood; but some of those loud extollers soon turn crucifiers. I hope Robertness of Christ imputed to him without any Abbott may spend many happy and useful
10th. I believe that the salvation which was purchased by the death of Christ is special and particular (i.e.), that it is only designed for the elect of God.
11th. I believe that the justification of a sinner in the sight of God is by the righteous
righteousness of his own.
12th. I believe that the work of regenera- | chapel, and they both went down into the water tion, conversion, sanctification and faith, is together; and Mr. Gooding baptized him in not an act of man's own will or power, but of the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. the mighty, efficacious, and irresistible grace After which he walked three miles to get to of God, and is the alone work of the Holy his home in his wet clothes, feeling that Spirit of God without any aid from man, in keeping God's commandments there is although man is sometimes used as an in- great reward. While this was going on there strument by the Lord in the conversion of was a female making preparations to do likeothers. wise, when several friends, actuated by that noble principle, viz. "Let everything be done decently, and in order," said, "You had better wait; propose yourself to the Church; then you will come prepared to change your wet things, for she had not previously thought of walking through the ordinance then, although her mind had been seriously exercised on the subject of Baptism. After duly considering the consistency of the advice, she thought it would be more proper to wait, propose herself to the Church, and follow her Lord in due order, which she has done; and very shortly we expect she, with some others, will be baptized. This, I am happy to say, is the way the Lord is blessing the ministry under our esteemed pastor. The house of God is filled morning and afternoon; and during the summer months he goes to the adjoining villages and preaches in the open air. These opportunities are wonderfully made a bless
13th. I believe that every true believer will earnestly desire, and constantly endeavour to maintain, a conduct and conversation becoming the Gospel, not working for salvation, but because he is saved.
14th. I believe that all those who are chosen by the Father and redeemed by the Son, shall be sanctified by the Spirit, and finally persevere, so that not one of them shall ever perish, but have everlasting life.
15th. I believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust; that the just will rise to the resurrection of life, and the unjust to the resurrection of damnation.
16th. I believe that baptism by immersion, is an ordinance of God's appointment, to be administered to all truly-regenerated persons not to regenerate them, but as a sign that the Holy Spirit has already done it. 17th. I believe that it is the duty and privi-ing to the poor needy countrymen and wolege of all regenerated persons to be baptized, men. To use their own language, 44 They and after baptism to commemorate the death love to hear a finished salvation and in of Jesus, as often as convenient, by partaking through the Lord Jesus Christ, and the work of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. of the Spirit insisted upon;" without this they cannot receive any comfort, only as He is pleased to take of the things of Christ, and to reveal them unto them, proving their adoption and interest.
18th. I believe that we have no authority or precedent in the word of God for partaking of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper before baptism, and that none but baptized believers have a scriptural right to the privilege of church fellowship.
There is one remark wish to make respecting the good man, which may prove a blessing to some of your numerous readers that are placed in the like position as he was before he burst asunder the bars of sophistry, and yielded to the dictates of his own conscience and to the revealed will of God.
23rd July, 1856.
DEAR MR. EDITOR,-Will you be pleased to insert the following interesting circumstance which took place in the Baptist chapel, on the morning of July 6th ultimo.
He has been a consistent member of the Independents for some time past; and feeling it to be a duty to go and acquaint his mi
Mr. William Gooding had been baptizing a female sister, and when he ascended the bap-nister of his feelings on Baptism, went, but tistry, a man who had been witnessing the alas! he came away more perplexed in solemn ceremony broke silence and said, mind. His spiritual adviser told him that "Mr. Gooding, here is water, and what doth Baptism was only a form, and no good could hinder me from being baptized?" which was result from forms; but he felt it to be a comresponded to by Mr. Gooding: "If thou be- mand, and every time he perused the word of lievest, thou mayest." The good man then God on this point, the more deeply was he said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son concerned: from this motive he went to of God, and that He is the Saviour of poor hear and witness the ordinance; and so persinners, which I can testify through his good-suaded was he of the duty, that it became ness and mercy in raising me from the depths imperative upon him to walk in the ways and of sin and woe, and has implanted grace in commandments of God blameless. That thoumy heart, that where sin abounded grace sands who are thus halting between two does much more abound. This change took opinions may go and do likewise, is the desire place about five years ago, during which time and prayer of my mind has been deeply exercised on the Halesworth. J. POOCK. ordinance of Baptism; and I am fully persuaded that it is God's instituted ordinance." Upon this public profession, Mr. Gooding said, Chesham, June 13. "When would you like to be baptized?" He THIS town is snugly laid in one of the said, "Now." Then he withdrew into the Buckinghamshire valleys. The worthy Bapadjoining vestry, took off his coat, waist-tist pastor, John Parsons, who laboured with coat, neckcloth, and shoes, came into the me yesterday at Lee Common Anniversary,
kindly took me for the night, and gave me
MENDLESHAM GREEN CHAPEL. DEAR BROTHER BANKS,-I beg a corner in your "VESSEL." Four of the Lord's dear children, three females and one male, after they had stated the nature of the work of God in their souls before the Church of Jesus assembling in the above-named_ place, were, on the Lord's Day morning, July 7, baptized upon a profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus. The subject chosen on the occasion was, "Why baptizest thou?" (John i. 25.) We do not believe it essential to salvation; for we are saved by grace. Not because we consider it meritorious, or ever merit anything through attending to it. Not that it cleanses persons from sin; for the blood of the covenant alone is sufficient to do this, and every believer is fully and freely forgiven all sins.
Therefore, my reasons for baptizing are as follows:
Because Christ commanded it. (Matt.xxviii.
sembled together at the Lord's table to re-
Prestwood Common, near High Wycombe, July 31, 1856. On this Common there is a small Baptist chapel. Two-and-twenty years since it was enlarged and re-opened by Mr. James Wells; and in it the Truth has been and is preached in simplicity and to some good effect. At the present time the pulpit is supplied by two aged men by the name of Wheeler. They
are brethren in the flesh and in the Spirit, and labourers together in the same glorious Gospel. On this day we had anniversary
leading outlines were the love of God, it God is of a constraining nature (1 Cor. v. 6). was everlasting. (Jer. iii. 13;) also the love of It is also a great love displayed in the gift of sermons, and collections for the good minis-Jesus-"God so loved the world" (John iii. ters. Mr. Parsons, of Chesham and the 16). It is inconceivable; for the Apostle prays “Earthen VESSEL," preached. I know it that the Church of Christ may know the was a good time with many. love of God in power and sweetness. (Eph. iii. 19.) It is also immutable: "Whom Jesus loves, He loves to the end." (John xiii. 1.) Amidst all our changes and sorrows, He appears to relieve, comfort, and bless us at such times as these, when our souls are melted down-when contemplating his personal agonies and sorrow in the garden and upon the cross. Here is friendship without a flaw, love without dissimulation.
Throughout the day the attendance was good; the chapel and the vestry was filled to overflowing, and a great number of persons standing outside, listening with great atten
On Lord's Day, August 3, seven persons were baptized at Bethesda Chapel, Ipswich, by Mr. T. Poock, on which occasion he preached from Psalm cxix. 72nd verse. The gracious Lord fulfilled his sweet promise, his name was poured forth, and the candidates found that in keeping of his commandments there is great reward. May the Lord bring away his dear children from human creeds, to the same obedience of faith and joy of love. ZUAR.