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"that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim." When ministers and biblical writers can bring forth the mind of God as hidden and expressed in the Word of God, it is pleasant to hear, it is profitable to read; but when the preaching is but a wild harangue, and the writing is without mind or matter, it is miserable to lend them either our ears or our eyes. Until, in our regenerated minds, the priest stands up with Urim and Thummim, and bids us to eat of the most holy things, we can never minister unto the souls of God's people the bread of life, nor can we open to them the vital and sacred mysteries of eternal truth.
If these things are so essential, the question arises-What was the Urim and Thummim typical of? Have they passed away for ever? or, do they still continue, only expressed in another manner?
Rabbi David decided it as "unknown to us what they signified." An old lexicon says, "Urim" signifies Lights or Explanations. The word "Thummim" signifies Perfections.
No positive explanation is given of them in the Word of God; which suggests to my mind the necessity of a special revelation in our souls; also, that faith is important, and that the Lord designs, that, in order to obtain clear and comfortable views of these sacred mysteries, we should diligently search his Word, plead at his throne, and meditate upon his great salvation-work, in all its several branches and blessings. Let my reader well digest one or two plain facts respecting this Urim and Thummim.
1. It is a fact that no man was commanded to make the Urim and Thummim: as God made and gave the two tables to Moses, so did HE make, and give, this Urim and Thummim.
2. They were in the breastplate, and worn upon Aaron's heart.
3. The high priests of the Jews consulted God in the most important affairs of their commonwealth, and received answers by the Urim.
4. The use of them was to inquire of God, and to receive an answer by them concerning his will. It is said in the book of Numbers, that Eleazar the priest shall ask counsel for Joshua after the judgment of Urim before the Lord. (Numb. xxvii. 21.) And when Saul "inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by the pro
phets." (1 Sam. xxviii. 6.) And when Moses blessed the tribes of Israel, of Levi he said, "Let thy Urim and Thummim be with thy Holy One." (Deut. xxxiii. 8.) The opinion concerning the Urim and Thummim most generally received among the Jews is, that they were the twelve precious stones in the breast-plate, on which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; and that the oracle gave its answer to any question proposed, by causing such letters in them to shine with a superior lustre, or to appear prominent above the rest, as formed the words of the answer, which, some say, the high priest was by inspiration taught to spell, and dispose in their proper order, though others maintain the several letters shone or appeared prominent, not all together, but one after another, in the order which formed the words of the answer. And whereas all the letters of the alphabet are not found in the names of the twelve tribes; the Talmudists inform us that the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were likewise engraven over the name of Reuben; and under that of Benjamin, the words shibhte-Jah, "the tribes of the Lord;" and by this means the alphabet was completed. Josephus, and some others, imagine the answer was returned by the stones of the breast-plate appearing with an unusual lustre, when it was favourable, or in the contrary case, dim. The more common opinion among Christians concerning the oracle by Urim and Thummim, and which Dr. Prideaux espouses, is, that when the high priest appeared before the veil, clothed with his ephod and breast-plate, to ask counsel of God, the answer was given by an audible voice from the mercy-seat within the veil: which, he thinks, best answers to the scripture expression of inquiring at the mouth of the Lord" (Josh. ix. 14), and God's "communing " and talking with those who consulted Him (Exod. xxv. 22). But this account will by no means agree with the history of David's consulting the oracle by Abiathar: "When he knew Saul secretly practised mischief against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod;" and then he inquired of the Lord, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hands?" (1 Sam. xxiii. 9-11.) And on another occasion, "I pray thee," said he to Abiathar, "bring me hither the ephod: and he brought the ephod: and David inquired at the Lord, Shall I pursue after this troop?" &c. (chap. xxx. 7, 8). On
his sovereign, of private conspiracy and rebellion against the king; "his treason consisted in speaking evil of the king: yea, he had even gone so far in his desperate rebellion as to give him the lie to his face,—for he that believeth not hath made God a liar." Thus, I found that Mr. Huntington brought Prodigalis in guilty of unbelief, though he was no infidel; who was likewise freely justified by the grace of God, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; and now for the first time I received Mr. Huntington's testimony, in addition to others, that, not only law transgressors, but disobedient rebels to the Gospel, like myself, possessing all the religious knowledge of Prodigalis, may yet obtain mercy through the rich atoning blood of Jesus. This does not appear in the former passage: in that he is speaking of the most obstinate and final acts of unbelief; in this of great obstinacy indeed-struggling against light and convictions, but at last conquered and brought to judgment in this world. The other ends in final impenitence, and is judged in the world to come.
And here I take the opportunity of saying that I am more indebted to Mr. Huntington for my views on this subject, than to any other man; and he was none of your yeaand-nay men; he did not confound the Gospel with duties and exhortations to the creature, but when he brought a sinner to God's bar, he was not afraid of demanding too much from a miserable rebel,-robbing God of his just demands to spare the helpless rebel. He brought both Law and Gospel with each of their requirements to play against him, till he was left without either hope or shelter from the stormy blast.
From Mr. Huntington I turn to J. Bunyan, whose "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners" strikes almost every chord of my own exercises; it is wonderful to me how he tells me all that was in my heart. The good man gives utterance to my very feelings in the following words, "Now I was in great distress, thinking, in very deed, that I came too late; wherefore I went up and down bemoaning my sad condition, counting myself a thousand fools for standing off so long, and spending so many years in sin as I had done; still crying out, Ŏli that I had turned sooner! Oh that I had turned seven years ago! it made me also angry with myself to think that I should have had no more wit, but to trifle away my time, till my soul and heaven were lost."
If poor ignorant Bunyan thus bemoaned himself, how much more might I do so, that had read the best authors, had sat under the excellent and searching ministry of the late S. Turner of Sunderland, and heard several times in London such men as Comb, Stevens, Gadsby, Warburton, Kershaw, and yet withal (though not a professor) I remained a graceless trifler. One more quotation from Bunyan: "The Spirit of Christ," says he," shows thee more sins than the sins against the law. First, it shows thee that All thy righteousness is as filthy rags,'-all thy praying, meditation, hearing, reading, almsdeeds, fastings, reformation, &c., thou being an unbeliever, deserve at the hands of God his curse and
condemnation. Secondly, it shows thee that thou hast no faith in the man Christ Jesus by nature, and that though thou hast no other sins, yet thou art in a perishing state, because of unbelief. It shall reprove of sin because they believe not on me."
In concluding these quotations I merely add, that I pin my faith to no man, I call no man master, nor acknowledge any voice but the voice of Jesus; from the relation I have given, I am satisfied that you will perceive that my exercises on this subject have been more than mere thinking, and that my conclusions are the result of strong convictions. I turn now at once to scripture testimony, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every truth be established."
The question I propose to consider is this, "Does the Gospel require the obedience of faith of those who hear it, or not?"
In the first place, I will show what I mean by the Gospel. Your correspondent, "A Little One," wisely makes a distinction between the covenant of grace and the Gospel dispensation. In this I fully sympathise with him. The covenant of grace does not consist in requiring obedience, but in bestowing it; it neither exhorts nor commands, but promises what God will do for those who are interested therein; this is Gospel in its strictest sense. But the Gospel as it is dispensed taken in its largest sense, is a revelation of the Will of God to all men, wherever it comes and requires obedience, both from sinners and from saints; it instructs, exhorts, commands; it warns and threatens, as well as promises mercy, it judges and condemns, as well as justifies. This is what I mean by the Gospel in the following remarks. "Little One" having laid down the distinction between the Gospel properly, and the Gospel dispensation, allows that it is the duty of all men to believe, but not with all the heart that they may be saved; he is afraid of asking more of poor miserable sinners than they can pay, so he lowers the scale of charges, as if poor bankrupt man could either pay little or much. I, for my part, admitting that it is a duty to believe, ain not afraid of laying the axe to the root of the tree, but fear rather to diminish aught from the requirements of the Word; and in that Word I find no middle class between the believer that shall be saved, and the unbeliever that shall be damned. Ralph Erskine well describes my views respecting the requirements of the Word and the grace thereof.
"Wouldst thou distinctly know the sound
to join the ranks of the faithful all their days, who nevertheless choose the Lord for their portion, and these are believers as well as those who add profession to their faith. "Man looketh at the outward appearance, God looketh at the heart." So I conclude, if God judges all men as unbelievers who do not believe, that faith is a duty which is required of them; they have heard his word, but have not received it. It is the duty to believe that makes unbelief an offence; for where there is no law there is no sin. "He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
1st. From the nature of Jehovah's record, I will show that faith is required of all that hear it, and that no other faith is properly believing in the sight of God but that of believing with all the heart unto righteousness. 2nd. From the unequivocal exhortations appended to and properly belonging to the record, I will show that it is the duty of all men to believe. To these two heads I will endeavour to confine myself. If I cannot prove my point from them, I cannot prove it at all. Jehovah's record takes in two very important things-first, that we are all sinners, already under the wrath of God; second, that "Christ Jesus is come into the world, From the nature of Jehovah's record, the that whosoever believeth in him should not nature of the faith which it requires is also perish, but have everlasting life." Of the first obvious. "Little One" asks, " Was it your it is said, "All have sinned and come short of duty savingly to believe in Christ Jesus the glory of God;" and, "The wages of sin your duty to believe you were one of his is death." Of the second, the Father saith, when you were dead in trespasses and sins? "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well If so, then it was your duty to believe a lie." pleased, hear ye him." The Son saith, "I am Now, with every respect to "Little One," it come a light into the world, that whosoever is clear that he mistakes the first great object believeth in me should not abide in darkness." of faith. It is not an object of faith presented And the Holy Ghost saith, "To-day, if ye to the carnal man to believe he is one of will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Christ's; he must first believe before he is Such is Jehovah's record. In his testimony warranted to believe that he is one of the concerning sin, He declares the universal ruin redeemed; this is a blessed truth revealed for and danger of all men; and in his testimony them only who have already through grace concerning righteousness, He shows to all, believed. The first great objects presented in wherever the Gospel comes, the only way of this record for the credence of sinners are, escape from everlasting misery. God, our that they are sinners, and that Christ is the Maker and Judge, has stooped down to earth only Saviour, and it is their duty to submit to to speak to his creatures: before the final Him that they may be saved. I do not think judgment is set, He testifies unto them con- the phrase "savingly believe" is a very intelcerning their everlasting destinies, and it is ligible one. The Scripture phrases are-" To the creature's duty to hear Him;-however believe, that we may be saved," " To the averse to the Word, or incapable by sin of saving of the soul," &c., which do not dereceiving it in love, man's depravity dimi- scribe a manner of believing, or the nature of nishes not in the least any of his obligations; faith, but the end of it. The sinner is the a debtor may not be able to pay his debts, subject of faith, Christ and his righteousness but his incompetence to pay relieves him not is the great object, and salvation the end of from his liabilities, every mite of which is it: each of these things is spiritual,—our justly due to his creditor. So it is an ever- disease is spiritual. Jesus' blood is a spiritual lasting obligation which we owe to God to remedy, and the salvation is also spiritual. hearken diligently to all his words, to submit Now what other faith can this record require to them, and receive them with affection; but that of believing with the heart unto and our depravity, though it leaves us with-righteousness?—the great object spoken ofout power to pay, leaves not God without right to demand.
A testimony is given, whether from men or from God, that it may be believed; and this testimony of God concerns every creature under heaven; it is applicable to all, and is to be declared to all; the very fact, therefore, of its having to be declared to all shows it to be the duty of all to hear it, and, if to hear it, to believe. If we slight, neglect, or disbelieve the testimony of man, we despise the testifier; what shall we say, therefore, of him who disbelieves the testimony of God? When any man hears, he either believes or not; it is impossible to be neutral: he either glorifies God by believing, or makes Him a liar by disbelieving. Faith has many degrees, and unbelief has many; but there can be but two classes, there is the outward infidel and the inward. Some men only dare to profess their infidelity, but all men by nature say in their hearts, "There is no God;" but both these are infidels; so some believers never have boldness
and to what other end should a man believe but the salvation of his soul? The record speaks of no other, it is adapted to no other, nor does it promise any other; on the contrary, it threatens all that come short of it with destruction, which they know not how soon may be executed,-" He that believeth not shall be damned."
Of those that believe not, the Scriptures speak in the following manner:-"They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved;" they "obey not the truth;" are "disobedient," "stumble at the stumblingstone," are "offended in him;" "they "sub mit not to his righteousness," they "received him not," "rejected," "refused him;" they "hated," "did not love him," they "will not come unto him." From these Scriptures we see the nature and guilt of unbelief, of which there are many degrees, but all are counted amongst the "disobedient" who do not obey the truth, and all are "offended" in Jesus who do not love Him. For he that is not for is against.
Greek languages, and of late attacked the herculean task of learning the Hebrew single-handed, and with which he became partially acquainted; he was also an almost unequalled arithmetician.
About two years ago, or more, it is thought that he began to suffer from paralysis; and what was most distressing, he began to be dreadfully afflicted in the back of the head, which would cause him to weep bitterly, and deprive him of all power to think-nothing could relieve it. I could not but observe to my wife, some two years ago, or more, "Don't you detect a difference in father's preaching -a want of memory in particular?" My friends, the brain was beginning to soften and decay; and every time he made an effort to study, he was forced to give in on account of the excruciating pain in the back of the head. It made our very hearts bleed to witness his agony.
On one occasion I went to see him, and he was senseless and speechless-so insensible that he lay for twelve hours with a pill on his tongue, without the least effort to swallow or eject it and knew no one. Speedily his speech and voice began to fail, so that he could not be heard; and sometimes, if heard, there would be a want of sense. Till at last he became quite prostrate, and was only relieved by his ever attentive and affectionate wife moving him in and out of his bed. And then he would sit for hours and not speak, and look quite vacant. Sometimes his poor mind wandered, and he would not know what he was talking about. And what, perhaps, was most touching, was when he tried to speak, but could not, he burst into tears for minutes together, and sat afterwards dumb and still. Sometimes he would rally, and speak to friends who came to see him; and would invariably talk of Jesus as clearly and correctly as possible, whilst he would lose himself on other matters.
After country air, physicians and surgeons, and all means failed, on the sabbath before he died, he was evidently taken worse, and seemed to be quite conscious that he was going, and kissed all his friends and relations present, saying only, "Peace, peace, all is peace." In the morning he rallied a little, and when I saw him I really thought him as far from death as he was weeks past; indeed his dear partner, seeing that he had gone to sleep on Monday night, and slept all night pretty quietly, thought that he would have a comfortable day on Tuesday. Rising at six o'clock, she observed a great change in him, and, indeed, it was his last sleep, for he began to breathe hard, and continued unconscious all day, and lay motionless. Night came, and with his family, and many who had been blessed by his ministry, till his chamber was full, and the hearts of most full with grief, and yet with gratitude to the Lord that his last moments were quietness and peace. Still sorrow would press on the mind to think, that a dear husband, a dear father, and a dear pastor, was there; but he could not speak, he could not see, he did not know we were there. Till the moment came when his redeemed spirit must take its flight to realms
of everlasting light, and had our eyes but have been opened as Elisha's were, we should have seen the angelic messengers waiting, as we were, to carry him to his God, and to our God:
"To vie with Gabriel, while he sings
With notes almost divine." At a quarter past two on Wednesday morning, he breathed his last, as quietly as I now breathe in this silent moment. And the words which then struck my mind are exactly expressive of that last moment, even to that iota :
"One gentle sigh his fetters broke, We scarce could say, he's gone, Before his ransom'd spirit took Its station near the throne." Thus he professed,--he lived what he professed,-he died as he lived,-and now we may add him to the number,--"These all died in faith." He died aged 55 (the exact age of his father). After death the head was opened, and was found to possess not one particle of brain, He spent it in his Master's service.
FORTY YEARS' SERVICE IN THE
MR. ISAAC MCCARTHY, of Madeley, in Shropshire, having laboured for many years in Ireland, has promised to give a few sketches illustrative of his work, and of the character of the popish priests. We hope they will serve some good purpose.
To the Editor of the Earthen Vessel.
Madeley, Shropshire, 24th Sept., 1856. MY DEAR BROTHER,-Agreeably to my promise, I now take up my pen, to give you a brief account of a few facts which have come within my personal knowledge during the forty years I have been on the Irish Mission, conducted under the management of the Baptist Irish Society. It has been frequently asked, What good resulted from that enterprise? Unpleasant as it is for a man to write or speak of himself, to the glory of God I may record it, I have baptized more than two hundred persons who were not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Many of these turned out to be eminently useful. Six of these were called of God to the work of the ministry. The Rev. Charles Row is one of them. Several other brethren were endowed with gifts for extensive usefulness.
Several of what they call Roman Catholics, repented, believed, and were baptized. It may help to check the growth of Puseyism, which is the very essence of Popery, to know how I have silenced the advocacy of Roman Catholic priests, when they have urged upon me what they call the reasonableness of praying to the souls of the faithful departed. The whole argument turns upon the question of knowledge; and I have always asked themWere the saints they now pray to omniscient when in this life? This was never insisted upon. Finding them shrink from this question, I demand that they should distinctively
answer my next interrogation-Are the souls of the faithful departed endowed with this great attribute of the Deity at or after their death? Are they then made equal to God himself in knowing all things? You must first establish it as an indubitable fact, that they know all the affairs of this life as perfectly as God himself, or else your creed must be founded upon manifest uncertainty and the grossest error. By this time, with the slipperiness of a newly-caught eel, I have always found that they made an effort to escape from my grasp. When priests are aware that the foundation of their dogmatical fabric has been shivered to atoms, they then will, with the greatest artifice and low cunning, endeavour to shift their antagonist from his position, by asking him intricate and irritating questions. But that would not do, they must answer my questions or quit the field.
This brings to my recollection an occurrence just in point. I was, by a friend, invited to dine at what is by priests denominated a Station. They send their vestments to whatever house they wish. This is a signal given to the family to have everything in readiness on some day appointed for holding a meeting. On those occasions the priests hear confessions and give absolutions. Α good dinner is the last ceremony of the day. No man could be made more welcome at this festival than your friend. There were five or six priests present at it. Two of them were engaged at the discussion held at Eskey, against reading the Bible. The name of one of them was Huse. I had an interview with him the following day. He commenced a conversation by telling me what rapid success was resulting from their missions. I kept abreast with him for some time, and at last I got ahead of him. This stirred up all the popish fire of his constitution, and with great vehemence he exclaimed, "But, sir, you have no mission from God." My reply was, "I can produce my commission from the Lord Jesus Christ in a few moments;" and I referred him to Christ's command to his Apostles, Mark xvi. 15, 16; and then asked him to show me any other authority for preaching either from God or man. Again, in a burning passion, he said, "You Protestants have held us up to public view as a base set of idolaters. I have been ransacking my brains to find scripture in justification of our church in praying to the souls of the faithful departed;" and he referred me to the following passage, "Father Abraham, have mercy upon me," &c., Luke xvi. 24. My reply was, "Mr. Huse, be not deceived in me; for, both in my pulpit and on platforms, I have never shunned to declare your church to be idolatrous. We care nothing how you may qualify the word worship; while you offer prayers to fellow-creatures you are idolaters. You say that you have been ransacking your brains for Scripture proof and precedency to prop up your church in this species of worship, and it now appears very evidently that you have also been ransacking the dreary regions of the damned to justify yourselves in worshipping the souls of men and women. But Abraham
Cast all thy burdens on the Lord; He will sustain thee-trust his Word. A true and faithful God He is; "Lo! I am with you to the end," Rich are his gracious promises. Engaged to succour and defend. S till on his promised aid depend. While oft with outward cares oppress'd, And by thine inward fears distress'd; Though trouble rises like a floodE ach trial shall but work thee good; Refined by them, each grace of thine S ball fairer, stronger, brighter shine. Boldly thy heav'nward course pursue, A nd keep the glorious crown in view; N or fear, though earth and hell combine; Kept by the power of grace divine, S oon shall th' inheritance be thine. POPLAR, Oct. 9th, 1856.
It shines so bright. Down with all glory, down,
Call me to joys. Begone short woes, begone;
From an old Magazine (date 1795).
THE LATE H. NICOLE. THAT well-known itinerant Gospel-preacher, H. Nicole, of Took's-court, Chancery-lane, departed this life October 7th. For a long time he had been lingering on the brink. He preached his last three sermons at St. John'splace, Lisson Grove; and his last text was,"How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" On the afternoon of the first Sunday in August he administered the Lord's Supper to us; but was very ill. The friends at Beulah Chapel deeply feel his loss. He was a faithful minister of the Gospel.-J. Munns, 8, Eastbourne Mews, Paddington.