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A LETTER TO JOSEPH GREENSLADE, such denunciations at me-in secret-as OF DEVONPORT.
would be enough to cast me headlong into
despair and perdition, if the Lord had not upMY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHER, -I ad- hela me. Therefore, as I seek a thorough indress these few lines to you through the me vestigation, I am resolved (the Lord permitdium of the EARTHEN VESSEL, for the express ting) to publish the truth in a pamphlet enpurpose that thousands beside yourself may titled, “Words by the Wayside ; or, a Journey read its contents. As soon as I discovered, to Plymouth," &c., and then leave a discern. and was fully convinced (as I was from my ing people to judge for themselves. Thirdly, interview in your presence with Mr. Bull, the I purpose to do this because I have, in town pastor of How-street Chapel, Plymouth), that and country, a great number of Christian a spirit of persecution was at work against friends, to whom the Lord hath blessed my me, in the hearts and hands of the men called labours, both from the pulpit and the press. I “ministers of truth," I felt a desire to lay would not suffer their minds to be falsely the whole of my case, not only before the wounded without an effort to give them the churches, but before the world at large; be- TRUTH OF THE CASE, for all the world. God lieving that a much more righteous verdict helping me, therefore, I will give the promised will be given me by men of sound sense, than statement, and I hope the approbation of is now given by those are called “ faithful Heaven will rest upon the effort. Last Lord's brethren."
day, the day after my return from the West, I assure you the unexpected cruel spirit I felt unfit for pulpit labours, but I went manifested in the dark by those who I have through the privileges of the day better than served in the Gospel, cut me deeply in the I could expect. In the morning I spoke from heart. While in your house, I could scarcely these words “Make haste, my beloved.” My sleep at all, and I much feared I should be dependence on Christ, my desires toward Him, cast upon a sick bed two hundred and fifty and our delight in his service, occupied a few miles from home. You know the Lord moment's consideration. In the evening, I helped me to preach, but my mind was so in- had these words, “Wherefore lift up thy wardly oppressed that to preach was trying prayer for the remnant that is left” (Isaiah indeed. I think but few can conceive the in- xxxvii. 4). It was a solemn time, our attenward agonies of my mind while preaching dance was good, and some declared the Lord the Gospel in Devonport, Stonehouse, and New powerfully spoke to them. Thus, my dear Passage, last week. Nevertheless, 1 was friend, the hope that a Triune Jehoval will helped; and for your great kindness, and for revive us as a people, and help me in true de the sympathy of so many friends, I desire to votion, and in an honourable usefulness, to return my sincere and most grateful acknow- continue, and to finish my course, is with ledgments. I left Devonport, as you know, your servant in the Gospel, early last Saturday morning, and, after tra:
CHARLES WATERS BANKS. velling from seven in the morning until near eleven at night, I reached home, wearied,
November 10, 1856. faint, and much cast down. On my journey I wrote out our interview with Mr. Bull, and also an account of the false reports almost REMARKS ON THE THEORY OF “A everywhere assailing me while in your three
BLAST.” towns, respecting the management of my printing business, and inasmuch as I fully DEAR SIR,– Having no personal knowledge believe that not one creature on the face of of your correspondent, wrong feelings will, I this world will be hurt by me, I purpose to hope, neither be shown or imputed. From the issue a pamphlet, descriptive of my past pro- scraps of his experience, I trust his heart is cedure in business, and my present position. right Godward ; nevertheless, the muddled I am led to adopt this plan because of the nature of his communication needs exposing. following circumstances. First, because all It is, indeed, a matter of solenn importance that night as I tossed on my bed, after our in- to be called of God to stand between the liv. terview with Mr. Bull, ihis word rolled | ing and the dead, and is the cause of much over and over in my mind, -" What I tell you soul exercise before the Lord to know how to in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what preach pure Gospel to perishing sinners. 1, ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the like your correspondent, have thought much house-tops, and fear not them,” &c., &c. Se on this question, and yet have arrived at very condly, because, although I have for near different conclusions. twelve years exerted myself to the utmost to The grand question that " A Blast " consiserve the churches, the ministers, and the ders stands thus:-"Does the Gospel require cause of truth at large, and although, after the obedience of faith from those who hear my affairs have undergone the closest inves- it?" He says it does; I affirm it does not. I tigation by legal authorities, and a most hon- will state my opinion, with its proofs, and ourable re-instatement of my business in the leave the godly reader to judge. I may just hands of my son, for the purpose of fully and say that Mr. Huntington loathed the idea of finally paying every one, has been arranged, duty-faith, and with regard to dear Bunyan, yet not a single person ever came to me, to though I love his works, yet I find many : ascertain the truthfulness of my position; remark I cannot receive as pure Gospel. but, according to Mr. Bull's showing, they That the Gospel is a revelation of the will stand at a distance, they receive any tidings of God to all men, I cannot believe, neither that may be brought to them, and then hurl I can it be proved from Scripture. That it is to be preached to all I readily grant, but there is are taught by the Spirit the bondage of the nothing in the Gospel for any whole-hearied Law, are led to flee to the Gospel; all others sinner. The Law belongs to them, they live are under condemnation already, and it is under, are bound to obey it, and die under made evident, for they believe not on Christ. its condemnation. The will of God, as shown Faith is a spiritual act, and can alone be in the Gospel, is a will of salvation, called performed by a spiritual person, and yet (we good-will-Luke ii. 14. As many as are or- are told) God requires it of every natural dained to eternal life are interested in it-man. “Does man's weakness through sin incaActs xiii. 48. The Gospel is intended for pacitate him from performing a spiritual act ?” the sheep; they hear, believe, and follow I answer, No. Adam, in his purity, could not Christ. The origin of the Gospel was love, do what " A Blast" considers to be the duty of eternal love; in its manifestation it is sent to all men. Man's fall has not disabled him from all whom the Lord our God will call; in its paying this debt; his inability here is that he effects life and immortality are brought to is not created anew in Christ Jesus. God's light by it.
elect are quickened into spiritual life, they If your correspondent can show that God then perform spiritual acts, such as believing. has good-will to all, then he may make the " A Blast" considers it the creature's duty Gospel a revelation to all. I sum it up thus:- to do what the Saviour is exalted to give. 1st. The Gospel is a revelation of the love of Judge, ye spiritual readers, how these twoGod, but not to all-Rom. v. 8, John xiii. 1. agree? Faith is the gift of God, yet God de2nd. The Gospel is full of mercy and good mands it of every creature. The Holy Spirit news, but “ A Blast" makes the delivery of it reveals Christ, but here we find Adam's sons more dreadful even than Sinai's thunders. are set to make brick without straw. Christ sayy_“I come not to destroy men's "A Blast" says, “ Our depravity, though it lives, but to save." 3rd. The Gospel reveals leaves us without power to pay," &c. This God's righteousness-Rom. i. 17--but it is ground is not allowed; the position is not from faith to faith—from a faithful God to a tenable. Man's depravity disabled him from believing heart.
obeying the Law, but certainly not from beThe condition of man dependent upon lieving the Gospel. The Gospel shows the divine sovereignty; but “ believing" is the nature of the Law's demands more fully, but test of our sonship-not the condition, but it does not reiterate them. The Gospel is for the evidence. If the Gospel requires the obe the poor, the needy, the blind, the lame, &c., dience of faith, then we make it conditional, such as are made sensible of their disease by and the dispensation of it (as " A Blast" terms the Holy Spirit. To tell the poor sensible it) is at variance with the covenant, and we sinner it is his duty to believe, he ought to must preach it thus :—“Ye may all have the believe, it is a damning sin that he don't beblessings of the Gospel if ye will believe; lieve, &c., would be only mocking his distress, but if ye will not have it, ye shall be eternally for it is the honest desire of his soul to be lost." But our Gospel is not yea, nay, but yea enabled to do this. It is not whether he will, and amen—"I will," and "they shall." "A but may he ?-will the Lord give power ? Blast" talks much of God's requiring certain A Blast" further says, the fact of it being things from men. God is creditor, man is declared to all proves it to be the duty of all debtor; of course Christ is left out; but is it to believe. This is a very poor argument. It Law or Gospel that leaves Him out? It must is to be preached to all because the Lord has be the Law; therefore, “A Blast” preaches Law a people among them to save; but that all are instead of Gospel.
concerned in it, as “ A Blast" affirms, is altoChrist said—“I thank thee, O Father, Lord gether untrue. Perhaps he will in his next of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these inform us how they are concerned in it-whethings," &c. But “ A Blast" considers men as ther it is in the purpose, the promise, or the doubly guilty for not finding what the Lord power? If their concern is a concern of inhas hid.
terest-he says it “concerns every creature Proportion was found in all the Old Testa- |--perhaps he will tell us whether it is their ment worship, and this is much more fully re- salvation, or damnation, or both? If their vealed in the New; but what proportion is salvation, can that concern be ever erased or there in the Lord saying one thing and mean- altered ?—if their damnation, then the Gospel, ing another? “No man can come," and yet which is in striking contrast to the ministry they are to be mocked by inviting them and of condemnation—2 Cor. iij.—is turned at offering them something which was never in- once into a killing letter ;-if both salvation tended for them. “A Blast” tries to make and damnation, then the concerns are condihis point evident from the nature of Jehovah's tional and subject to change. Alas for man's record. To sum it up in a few words, he inconsistency s I think your correspondent wishes it to be seen that the promises and in- needs to be taught the way of God more vitations are all general, relating to all. Of perfectly course, if there are punishments for disobedi- “ A Blast” further says the nature of the ence, there are rewards for obedience, and faith required is obvious, though he objects to thus Jehovah's record is a system of rewards the term “ savingly believe,” which it strikes and punishments. This sort of Gospel is me is not half so obscure as his theory. He merely a new name for the Law, a word suited writes of " duty to submit to Christ" (which to the strong and good, but not for poor help. is neither Law nor Gospel), that they may be less sinners. Every man is under Sinai's law; saved. Then we must suppose there is soine by this all will be judged. “ If thou doest possibility of salvation after all. No other shalt thou not be accepted,” &c. Those who faith can possibly be allowed by him but sav
ing faith. Was there not faith in the ten-of the immeasurable value of the Relepers – yet in only one of a saving sort? deemer's person--of the preciousness of a Was not Jerusalem destroyed for rejecting the living faith in the Gospel, of the happy Messiah ?-was this in a national way, as their privileges of the communion of saints, and king, or in a saving way? If in a saving way, of an obedient observance of all the ordithen Christ wished to save them, but they nances of the Lord's house. Soon after her would not, and the will of the creature ruled release from Sinai, and ber ascension by faith and overcame the will of the Lord. “ How to Mount Zion, she was baptized, and united often would I have gathered thee, &c., but to the church under the pastoral care of Mr. ye would not,” &c. Are there no benefits at George Francis, of Snows Fields, by whom, as tending even a natural faith? Look at Eng- an under-shepherd, she was much favoured for land compared with Spain. Believing is the a number of years. When that valuable sertest of discipleship, and unbelief or disobe- vant was called home, she removed, with some dience (for the words are the same) is the others, to Crosby Row, and continued under badge of the reprobate, and such shall be the ministry of C. W. Banks, at Crosby Row damned.
and Unicorn Yard Chapels, until her last illA natural faith in Christ is valuable in ness laid her aside, and death removed her to earthly matters. Tyre and Sidon rejected her happy home. I may say she was a devoted Christ in this way; their condemnation is, and useful member of that church, and in therefore, greater than that of Sodom, for they connection with several godly and charitable had not the same light, privileges, &c. members of the same community, the Dorcas
I shall briefly, in conclusion, state my Society was formed, made a blessing to a multhoughts on one point-viz. how far Adam's titude of poor people; and I am pleased to sons are responsible under the Gospel. know it still continues to extend its blessings
I believe every man is bound to the Lord as among the needy of the church, and the de. his dependent creature; and when the Gospel solate distriots round about. I have been a is proclaimed he is called upon to listen to it, member of the same church from its comto weigh over its contents, to consider his mencement in 1843. I have witnessed its inways, to attend the public means of grace fant weakness, its growth until it numbered wherein Christ is set forth, and also diligently above two hundred and fifty members; I have to peruse that Word which contains the only watched the lives of a great number of its revealed will of Jehovah-these are responsi- members, and the benevolent exertions of its bilities connected with our creature standing, sick-visiting, its Dorcas, and its other socie and the neglect of which will add to the con- ties: and although, as a church, it has been demnation of all such. The Lord told the comparatively but little known; although its Jews the Gospel should be taken from them pastor has been the subject of such severe and given to a nation which bringeth forth trials as fall to the lot of but few men; althe fruits thereof. These are the fruits just though none of our deacons have been named; but as to the performing spiritual worldly wise or wealthy men; still, I do beacts, it is quite out of the question. It is for lieve that church has been a great blessing want of a right distinction here that “Ato many precious souls, and I have a lively Blast” holds forth duty-faith. The Scriptures hope that brighter days do yet belong to that he quotes, if considered with many others in part of the mystical body of Christ upon the this light, will compose one harmonious whole. earth. How sweet and refreshing have the I have glanced at this matter more briefly than seasons been to my soul, when prayer was I like, but perhaps several wiser heads and fervent, praise was warm and cheerful; and more able hands than mine will be engaged the preaching was accompanied with great in overthrowing this theory. I hope ever to power. Removed as I now am into green contend for consistency. Our Gospel trum- and grassy meads, I still cherish the fondest pet is made of one piece. While my tongue hopes that ere long I may again unite with can speak or my pen write, 1 hope to make a the remnant yet remaining to celebrate the stand against all such rel systems as doing, the dying, and the risen glories of duty-faith, believing it fills the Church with our most holy and ever-blessed Saviour-God, hypocrites and makes the heart of God's Jesus, the sinner's friend. people sad.-Yours to serve in the Gospel, The Lord did such great things for me in Suineshead.
W. BARRINGER. that place, that the Editor and his readers
must forgive me if I indulge a little in recol.
lections of the past. I well remember our GONE TO HEAVEN;
pastor, C. W. Banks, baptizing one evening or, RECOLLECTIONS OF A HAPPY UNION WITH twenty-one persons, and most of them far ad.
THE CHURCH ONCE MEETING IN CROSBY vanced in life. I consider the Lord made him Row; AND A TABLET IN MEMORY OF THE useful to a good degree in gathering in and LATE MES. ESTHER RUSSELL.
establishing believers who had been many This Christian woman (the beloved wife of years travelling in the old beaten path of triMr. John Russell, of Bermondsey) was in bulation towards the temple of eternal praise. early lite awakened to a deep sense of her sin- Walking round silently one morning among a nership condition, under the ministry of the few of the yet remaining trees that still grow late Joseph Irons, and her soul was most com- in the garden, I missed almost all I once fortably and efiectually set at happy liberty; knew. I said 'to my rather deaf companion, and for more than thirty years she was in- What is become of all the old faces and the deed a living epistle of the truthfulness of dear friends ?” “Gone home to heaven," was sovereign grace-of the faithfulness of God'the reply. “Where is James Blake, the leading
deacon--that noble-looking, steady-walking, centre in Christ, it must have its seat in the right-band friend of the pastor and of the poor heart, and must be of the operating power --the good man who would often preach us of God the Holy Ghost. Hence every one nice little sermons when the pastor was not that is taught of the Holy Ghost is taught of present?" "He is gone home to heaven!" | Christ, as his atoner and justifier. And he "But where is old Master Styles-the old who is thus taught has peace with God, and man who would pray so loud, so long, and so believes he is God's to all eternity, and that fervently; always sat right under the pulpit, in time God will not forsake him. He beand would so frequently lift up his hand, and lieves his steps are all ordered by Him, and then lay it down on the head of his stick with that the most painful things shall work to80 much meaning and emphasis-as though gether for his good, and the glory and exalthe would say, 'Truth, pastor: go on. Where ation of Christ. He believes that God's eye is he?" "He is gone home to heaven.” is perpetually upon him for good, and that "Thomas Guy-that great gipsy sinner-that the whole world is at his service. The hearts Spitalfields blasphemer, whoin God, in his great of all men are turned and moved so as to mercy, fetched out of Satan's kingdom; whose benefit him. Truly he believes all things, conversion to God, whose possession of grace and hopes all things, in Christ. What, then, was so wonderfully manifest, where is he?" is a creed to him, a system, a name? It is "Gone to heaven. Crossing London Bridge worthless, being without attraction to his one morning, he was suddenly seized with soul, because it is an idol. Thus, Cousin, cholera, which carried him off in a swift and God teaches me, and though unbelief often happy chariot to the brighter and the better rages within my depraved heart, yet, by world.” (At this moment the clerk, our bro- faith in Him, I learn to despise all that man ther Elijah Packer, commenced the service by in our day is so excited about, and for ever giving out a hymn. My companion and I coveting-Fame. were silent; but what I afterwards learned I We must have substance. I pray God will will relate in my next. ]
keep your eye to this fact, in all your minisAx EPHRAIMITE IN THE WOODS. trations. The Devil has kindled a false fire
in our day, and thousands upon thousands FALSE FIRE NOT LIVING FAITH.
are excited to the highest pitch with it. Oh,
for the gentler fire of the Holy Ghost, to ALL Sober Christians will read the following withdraw the heart from man, that it may original letter with approbation.
be prepared for eternity. Castle Street, Salisbury. Pardon my freedom with you I could
Nov. 3rd, 1856. ever hold my tongue-but the times call DEAR COUSIN,–) am thankful that God, for warningsi God help you to stand clear the everlasting Father, puts it into your heart of men, for his name's sake. Amen. to deal kiudly with me. I do hope it may
Yours sincerely, please God to put me into the place in ques
R. WATERS. ison. He knows I want it, and He gives me faith to believe He cares for me. Faith, did I
NEW BIRTH. say? Oh, what a word for a sinful inortal to
The soul that's born again atter! Faith in the kind and gracious provi- Can never more transgress, dence of the eternal God. To believe that
Created by the great I AM, God--the living God-He who made the
In spotless holiness. world; He who made man, and made him upright; He who banished from his presence,
This incorrupted seed, and sentenced him to perpetual death for his
For ever shall abide, disobedience; He who again compassionated
For God this hidden life shall feed, him by giving his only beloved Son to stand
And keep it near his side. in his place, and receive his stripes, that he
He dwells within the heart, might be taken into favour; He who put forth And keeps the soul alive, his Almighty power in this Mediator, to de
And waters it in every part, stroy Death, and him that had the power of
To make it grow and thrive. Deaih, and who rose from the grave trium- But what is born of flesh, phant; He, I say, puts forth the same arm, Corrupted flesh remains; exercises the same power on my unbelieving And though some paint it oft afresh, heart, that I should believe in Him as my God They cannot hide the stains. and Saviour. Say what you will, dear Cousin, The flesh and spirit, then, creed is not faith-system is not believing. Are of a different kind, How many whose religion is only in their nowins of a system and a creed 1 You know
The spirit soars away from inen,
The flesh to earth confined. better, and so does every one who verily believes in God; for God burns up all notions to
Then he that's born again make room for realities. There is but one
In spirit must confess, way to heaven, and the way is Christ. But
That though the flesh remains unclean, Christ in theory, is not Christ the Saviour of
The spirit is sinless. sinners; it must be Christ in the heart, by
Wash'd in a Saviour's blood, the Spirit of God, whereby He is all to the And purified from sin, sinner, and everything else nothing. Oh, what It never goes astray from God, lessons upon lessons does God give his chosen Nor worships aught but Hiin. unes before they thus believel Faith must St. Helier, Jersey.
" PROTESTERS AND PEACE-MAKERS.”
wild. Then some good people, such as doc
tors, news.makers, printers, and publishers, Such is the leading title of another pamphlet sent out warnings to warn
the people issued by Mr. Collingridge, of the City Press, against this old ghost ‘Negative Theology.' on the great controversy which has so long But, Mr. Watchman, can you tell us, have you been agitating the weaker parts of the visible seen the ghost? Do you think it will do us Church.
This pamphlet is by Mr. William Palmer, the Our reply has always been—"We believe it, respected minister of Homerton-row Chapel, is spurious, a Satanic effort to throw the and is one of a rather startling character. Gospel into the shade, and we believe that Mr. Palmer is just the man to take up ques- this ghost' is 'going about,' seeking whom tions of this kind; he is quite at home in con- she may devour ; but truth is mighty, and troversy. A more acute and powerful writer must prevail; nevertheless, 'Let Zion's watchcannot be found in our section of the Baptist men all awake, and take the alarm they body. The pamphlet now before us will fully give.'' justify this assertion. But what Mr. Palmer We quote one or two paragraphs from Mr. or any of us have to do with all this noise is Palmer's “Reflections." His account of the mystery to us. We will speak plainly. Mr. new theology in Germany is analogous to Palmer takes the part of Dr. Campbell against many movements in our own country. We Mr. Binney, Mr. Lynch, Newman Hall, and a would enlarge, but have not room. We say large number of the Congregational clergy. - Hold up the Bible. Whatever comes, let not But the grand question is here—Is there any the Bible be closed or cast away. 'In his difference at heart among these gentlemen “ Reflections," Mr. Palmer says:touching the essential doctrines and the vital “Negative Theology! What is it ?' some principles of our Christian faith,? None will ask. • How is it to be known ? and in whatever. We can view the controversy, as what body does it come?' It comes in no between Dr. Campbell and Mr. Binney, in no body at all; for it has none: none, at least, of other light than a striving for the mastery. its own. Neither has it a soul; for it is as Cannot Mr. Palmer see to the bottom of all destitute of a soul as it is of a body, It ig. this? Most speedily, and willingly, too, would nores all bodies of divinity; all theological we tear off the mask and lay the secret of systems. It is a negation of all the doctrines their editorial fighting bare; but we must not of sovereign grace; a substitution of natural put a weapon into those hands which can as for supernatural religion. At its core it is easily pursue a brother to death as they can, Pantheistic, and in its various forms it is improfessedly, espouse the cause of truth. Nay, plicitly Deistical. In a word, it is an aposindeed ; dumb dogs are dangerous, and we tacy from the truth as it is in Jesus; and from must avoid them if possible. We highly the light of revelation to the darkness of esteem Mr. Grant; we are satisfied he was reason. sincere in his review. Mr. Collingridge, also, " It was Wolf who introduced into Germany has nobly fought the battle, and his zeal in a species of biblical criticism, which predefence of pure Protestant principles is cer- sently subverted the foundations of Lutheran tain to bring him a rich reward; but as for orthodoxy. At first this new theology was some of the parties who have rushed into this designated Rationalism, and the place asbattle-tield of literary and theological conflict, signed to it was midway between orthodoxy we think them no better than Jesuits, and it and pure deism. But its real animus is nagrieves us sadly to find that deception can turalism against supernaturalism, or reason carry on such a trade.
versus revelation.. Christianity is held to be In Mr. Palmer's pamphlet we have first a a positive institution appointed for the good brief history of the controversy, then we have of mankind, and authorised by revelation. a number of letters written by him to ditter. But even this is mere pretension. For if I reent persons, and the finish is a short essay onceive a system, social, ethical, or theological Negative Theology."
-only so far as it accords with my reason, To us Mr. Palmer's “ Reflections on Nega- and because it accords with my reason, it is tive Theology" are beyond all price or commen- evident that I accept it on that ground, and dation. They should be printed separately and on that ground only, the authority presenting circulated by millions. Mr. Palmer, we thank it-however august-weighing nothing with you, sir, most gratefully for this powerful ex- This is the case with the Neologist. His posure of “ Negative Theology," and for uniting faith is in his head, not in his heart; in his therewith expositions of the covenant plan of brains, not in his Bible. He is a believer in salvation, so pure, so puritan-like, and so con himself, not in God. He is, virtually, an inclusive. The fact is, this “Negative Theology" tellectual idolater, not a Christian believer. is like a ghost that has been frightening the Reason, not revelation, is the basis of his bechildren, and some of the servants too, in lief. Ziun. As we have gone our rounds, trying to " It is not by Christ's dying for my good, answer the question—" Watchman! what of but by his dying in my stead, that I have a the night?” many a poor frightened creature legal salvation; for justice is not an emution, has called out, “ I say, watchman! have you but an attribute. Headship, not friendship, is heard anything about old Negative Theo- the root of a meritorious redemption. Substilogy?'-ić has so frightened us! We under. tution, not heroism, renders my salvation stand it was brought into London by one righteous, honourable, and certain. Sins are Lynch, that Mr. Grant fetched it a heavy blow debts by which we owe so much of suffering in Fleet-street, but that only made it the more to divine justice ; Jesus is a Covenant Head,