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A BRIEF REVIEW OF
manding of natural men according to their abilities. Alas! then, our good God can de- MR. J. CORBITT'S MINISTRY. mand nothing good of us, because we are evil. We are unrighteous, therefore he can demand no righteousness at our hands. Our hearts are alienated from him; therefore he can only demand the service of our outward man! As if God had lost his right, because we have lost our power.
There seems to me to be two extremes into which the church is prone to fall in all ages: the one is, to say that all men have power somehow or other, to believe the gospel, because the obedience of faith is required of all that hear it; the other, is, to say, that no man is under any obligation to obey it in a gospel sense, because no man has power The first denies God's decree, the second, God's command in the gospel. The one
makes man his own Saviour; and the other lays him under no condemnation for despising and neglecting the salvation that is in Christ. Now, whether the one or the other is worst, I leave; but sure I am, if it is bad to deny the eternal election of grace, it is as bad to deny the obligations of men.
Our inability by nature, according to my views and experience, is no excuse for us: it is our sin. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him," said the Saviour to the Jews; but he did not on this account excuse them; for he on another occasion accused them, saying "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.' The inability of a weak believer, and the inability of a dead sinner, are widely different. The first God pities, but the second he condemns. The difference is well distinguished in these words:
By nature, prone to ill,
Till God's appointed hour,
As now I am of power."
Houghton-le-Spring, Feb. 25, 1856.
"I love a religion that makes me feel, and that makes me feel that God, in all his persons, is precious to my soul-that he is my stay, my comfort, and my joy. I love a religion that brings me to leave my board and my bed with him-on what I shall live, and on what I shall lie-what I shall do, and where I shall be. I love a religion that brings me to believe that darkness and light are both alike to himthat although he subjects me to many changes, he knows not the shadow of a turn. I love a religion that opens up to my wondering mind the person, dignity, and glory of Father, Son, and Spirit-that makes them the all in all of my salvation here and my glorification hereafter. This-this is the religion I desire for myself and for you."-E. Wyard's Pas
[LAST month we briefly reviewed a pamphlet issued by Mr. John Corbitt, of Chelmsford. Those remarks have induced him to write the following letter.]
DEAR BROTHER BANKS.-I thank you for the kind spirit you manifested in noticing my address; but there are some things that need correction; and that you may be the better informed of the Lord's dealings with me at Biggleswade and Manchester, I here give you an outline. The words in your review which I complain of, are, "We rejoice to find that our Bedfordshire brother is more successful in Essex than he has hitherto been." This, my brother, is not the case. I never, since the Lord put me into the ministry, was less successful than I am here, as the following copy from my diary will shew.
On June 26th, 1844, myself, wife, and four others, were formed into a church at Biggleswade," where I continued until December, 1847. During this time-about three years and a-half, the chapel was enlarged to hold 140 more persons; the congregation increased from about 80, to as many as could crowd into the place-say about 400. The church gradually increased from 6, to 35, most of whom stand fast unto this day; so that I was not less successful there.
I commenced my ministry at Manchester the first Lord's-day in January, 1848, with a congregation not exceeding 100 constantly, and with only 26 members in the church. That I labored in the fire there, is true; but I was not the less successful; for the Lord was with me there; and did work mightily by me. I was in Oldham Street Chapel only one year and ten months; and during that time, the congregation was increased so as to bring in a sufficiency to support all claims and supply all needs. The church was increased from 26, to 81 members, most of whom are an ornament to their profession unto this day; and never was there more peace and affection manifested in a church than there was in this at that time. They were ready with the sum of £1800 (some borrowed, and some given), to pay the debt, and release Messrs. G., and G. But these gentlemen refused to let us have it; and sent us a legal notice from a lawyer to quit; which we did, to avoid being ejected therefrom. Therefore I was not the less successful there.
Again, you say, that Mr. James Wells sent me there. This is not fairly stated; for although Mr. Wells had highly recommended me to them, it was without my knowledge; and I did not consent to go there until the matter, in much prayerfulness, was settled between God and my own conscience; and I have no more doubt that the Lord sent me there, than I have that he sent me into this world; an account of which is given in my "Life," which you printed. I am aware that you have been otherwise informed; but this only is the plain truth. I remain yours faithfully, JOHN CORBITT. Chelmsford, March 6, 1856.
FRAGMENTS THAT REMAIN.
BY JOHN BLOOMFIELD,
SALEM CHAPEL, MEARD'S COURT, SOHO.
"We preach Christ crucified."
THE preachers whom the Lord raised up to expound the mysteries of grace, and to proclaim the gospel of salvation, were taught, and qualified, and blessed of the Holy Ghost. None but God can make energetic, faithful and successful ministers of the New Testament. What is needed to make ministers thoroughly in earnest, is the down-coming power of the Eternal Spirit; the light, the fire, and the power of the Spirit. The help of the Glorifier of Christ will make a man's ministry instructive, tranquilising, invigorating and and profitable. The apostles were men filled with the Holy Ghost; and they preached, with great power, the gospel of Christ. The Person and mediation of Christ was the burden of their ministry. They preached not the dreams of bewildered minds, nor the corruptions of the human heart. They preached the gospel of salvation. The cross of Christ they gloried in.
Four years ago this day, (the first Lord'sday in February,) I commenced my ministry in this place, with these words for my text. Now I commence the fifth year of my pastorate over this church with the same words. In preaching Christ crucified, I am making known God's ordained remedy for our awful maladies. Jews may stumble at the doctrine of the cross, or at the foolishness of preaching such a subject. There are many under the same influence as the Jews of past days. Such preaching is, contrary to their notions. It is quite against their prejudices. The Person of Christ, the miracles of Christ, the doctrines of Christ, the sufferings of Christ, &c., these things are stumbling-blocks to the Jews, and to all the men of whom the Jews were types.
The doctrine of the cross, and its heavenordained ministrations, were foolishness unto the polite and learned Greeks. They liked something more intellectual, more in harmony with the philosophy of man. God's truth is humbling to man's pride. It makes man nothing at all: it exalts Christ. It makes him the Alpha and Omega of our endless salvation. Mr. B. said he preached Christ crucified,
I. As the greatest manifestation of the love of eternal God. In the cross we have the most glorious development of Jehovah's love. Wouldest thou, my hearer, study the love of God? Let Calvary be thy school-room. It is there thou wilt find God's temple lighted up with the sacrificial fires of Divine love; there thou shalt find God's love coming forth from the depths of its own immensity. What music is that I hear at Calvary? O, it is the music of love; it is the swelling tones of eternal mercy; it is infinite love expounding itself. The accents of love remove the fear of the soul-the fear arising from the tempests of Sinai. In many things
thou seest the love of Jehovah's heart, but here thou seest the heart of Jehovah's love. "Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us." Wouldest thou study the love of God, in its boundlessness, in its sovereignty, in its expressions, in its omnipotency, and in its triumphs? Study it at Calvary. Here God manifested his love in the gift of his Son. Here Christ, the God-Man, manifested his love; for he loved the church, and gave himself for it. Canst thou say, my
hearer, "Who loved me, me! me! and gave himself for me?" "We preach Christ crucified," as the most sublime development of the love of the Infinite.
II. As the completion of the Jewish sacrificial system. The Levitical economy was one of types and shadows. That dispensation had done its work; it had answered its purpose ; Christ came, and was its glory; the Sun appeared, and the stars had to hide themselves. Christ was the true Priest, the real, the perfect Priest the Priest after the power of an endless life. He contained in himself his own fulness; was his own Altar, and his own Sacrifice. The vail of the temple was rent; for that dispensation was ended, and its secrets were to be for ever disclosed. Jesus was the Antitype of all the sacrifices of the Levitical economy. His Sacrifice, like Aaron's rod, which budded, swallowed up all others. He was Altar, Priest, and Sacrifice, in his own Person. Is he thy Priest, my hearer? Thou canst not come to God, but through God's ordained Priest; thou canst not be saved from the dreadful fires of Jehovah's unending wrath, but through him. O, my soul! thou needest this merciful and compassionate High Priest, who is passed into the heavens. Were thy sins, my hearer, laid upon him? Hast thou been cleansed by his atoning blood? Hast thou been clothed in his robe of righteousness? If so, how great is thy dignity! and how glorious are thy prospects!
III. As the foundation of the sinner's hope of an unlosable salvation. The foundation of a guilty sinner's hope is laid in oaths, promises, and blood. Did I say, unlosable salvation? Ah! even so; for a salvation ordained of God cannot be frustrated by man; a salvation obtained without merit cannot be lost by fault. It can never fail, for it is of God; it can never be lost, for God hath purposed it to be an endless salvation. atonement is the sinner's hope; it is the song of the redeemed in heaven; it is one of the chief glories of the Bible. The atonement is great, but the Atoner is greater. In the work of Christ, the sin-blighted sinner, the law-condemned sinner, puts all his trust for salvation and heaven. If thou art trusting in anything short of this, my fellow-sinner, thou wilt surely suffer the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is quenchless.
"None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good."
IV. As the medium of intercourse with the God of heaven. There are no communications from heaven to thy deathless spirit, but by Christ the Priest in heaven; and there is
no prayer presented in heaven but in the rights of his redemption. It is through his mediation that we have communion with God; it is through him God talks mercifully and encouragingly to our souls. It is through him our souls speak to the Most High.
V. As the substance of the song of the ransomed in the land of the blessed. In heaven, what harping! what hallelujahs! what singing! There the redeemed sing loud, like the thunder, and sweet, like the harp!" And they sung a new song, saying,-Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood." Shall we sing, my hearers, in heaven-or shall we groan among the damned in hell? God grant you may help to swell the music in the regions of matchless light and glory!
Our pastor informed us that 200 had been received into fellowship with the church during his pastorate. My prayer for him and all faithful ministers, is, that he may go on telling the tale of the cross in all simplicity, Scripturalness, savor and power.
So prays, one of Mr. Bloomfield's hearers, and a well-wisher of all God's servants.
REDEMPTION is the most glorious work of God. It is the brightest mirror in which to contemplate the mercy of our covenant God and Father; other gifts are only as mites from the Divine treasury; but redemption opens all the stores of his infinite grace to his elect in Christ Jesus our Lord.
manifold wisdom, and the gracious purpose and appointment of the Father; the unspeakable love, the affectionate heart, and the perfect obedience and inexpressible sufferings of the all-precious Jesus; the heart, promise, and grace of the Holy Spirit, who defies all the powers of earth and hell to resist, or make it void. Surely, that cannot be a matter of trivial moment, in which such agents concur!
Truly, redemption must be precious, when nothing that the universe could offer, would be accepted as sufficient to accomplish it. "The cattle upon a thousand hills" would have bled in vain; the gold of ten thousand treasures would have been piled up in vain. Blood Divine was its only price; and for the soul's redemption that blood was freely shed. On Calvary the ransom was paid to the utmost farthing by the red and sterling gold of Emanuel's precious blood; and in the glorious salvation of the renewed malefactor, we see a pledge of its Divine acceptance. Jehovah gave Egypt for the ransom of his people of old: " yea, Ethiopia and Sheba for them, because they were precious in his sight, and honorable." But in the redemption of the elect vessels of mercy, no mention shall be made of the gold of Sheba, the topaz of Ethiopia, or the fine linen of Egypt; the life of God's only begotten Son alone could redeem us from law, justice, and sin. Redemption from an earthly tyrant's despicable yoke, is justly deemed an important event; but the salvation of the soul from hell, is a deliverance of infinitely higher importance. "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?""
perished, redemption will pour upon its subjects important, invaluable, and immortal blessings. Having redeemed them from all iniquity, and from every pang to which they were liable through eternity, he brings them to every enjoyment to which they can rise in eternal glory. "Their robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb, who has washed them from their sins in his own blood."
Every era of the world hath its objects to applaud, and to cast into the shade the splendid deeds of former generations; but the redemption of the soul shines with unfading In redemption God reveals his love in so brilliancy to all generations; and when the marvellous a manner, that it is beyond paral-records of worldly glory shall have utterly lel-beyond thought, and above all blessing and praise. In redemption, by the blood of Jesus, all the beautiful varieties of colouring necessary to render a subject glorious, meet, as in the rainbow. His Divinity fills the renewed soul with adoring reverence, and holy confidence. His spotless humanity, while it excites spiritual affection, and encourages the soul to look to God without slavish fear, sheds such a dignifying lustre on our very nature, as renders all honors short of those that come from above, unworthy of the believer's notice or regard. The glorious subject of the union of the two natures in the One Divine Person, while it strikes expression dumb, affords the most unbounded room for holy meditation, and will for ever remain an inexhaustible source of admiration and praise, to all the redeemed of the Lord. And when the Holy Ghost is pleased to bring home and apply the blessings of this redemption to the poor awakened sinner's heart, he will join with the Psalmist, and honestly sing, "The redemption of the soul is precious!"
The crowns of glory are bestowed on them by the Redeemer's hand; they are by him placed on the throne. (Rev. iii. 21). It is at the Redeemer's mandate that sorrow and sighing flee away, and the ransomed of the Lord obtain joy and gladness. From his everlasting merits flow their everlasting joys; and heaven is filled with his wonders, and eternity with his praise. What thinkest thou, O my soul, of thy redemption? Is it so precious to thee, as to satisfy all thy wishes? Is it so precious to thee, that without it the whole universe could not make thee happy? Is it so precious to thee, that thou desirest to magnify it for ever, and considerest the songs The preciousness of redemption will appear, of eternity the just due of the Redeemer, and if we consider, first, the glorious agents who that no strains can be found too high to celeare employed about it. O, wonderful redemp-brate his worth, and the glory of his redeemtion in which we see the loving heart, the ing blood? What wondrous love shines in
the precious things of the mountains of myrrh,
Saffron Walden, Feb., 1856.
O, PRECIOUS Wounds! O, precious blood!
O, precious cross! for there I see
See Jesus' heart-view there a flame
To which my soul shall flee;
While his kind hand so freely gives
Such rich, such sweet supply.-J. ALLEN.
A BRIEF SKETCH OF
THE LIFE OF CALVIN.
that declaration of the Father-"I will give thee: that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth!" Let all that is within me praise the precious Saviour, who gave himself a ransom for such a vile sinner as I am! What would have been my condition, if he had not redeemed me? I must have perished for ever in hell! But, bless his holy name! he, in his sovereign love, gave himself freely for my release; yea, with what alacrity he went to the scene where he was to suffer and redeem! and there he stood, unmoved by all that came against him. Hell sent forth its most malignant powers to destroy him. The wrath of God was revealed against him, as our Surety, standing in our law-place, and bearing all the sins of his elect; yet he failed not, neither was he dismayed; but he travelled in the greatness of his strength, till the prey was taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive was completely delivered; when he cried in triumph-"It is finished!" and in sweet satisfaction bowed his victorious head, and gave up the Ghost, to the eternal confusion of all the powers of hell, death and sin. O, ye everlastingly loved, chosen, redeemed, quickened and called of the Lord! let the idea, the melting remembrance of redeeming love accompany you wherever you go, as the animating principle of every duty, and as a monitor to patience under every trial. Think of it, when you feel your souls becoming languid and faint, through the conflicts by the way. Call it to remembrance, amid the sleepless nights of affliction, the bitter reflections of disappointment, and the base requitals of the ungrateful. In the enjoyment of the blessings of redemption lies your happiness under all circumstances. In its realization by heaven-implanted faith, contentment will sing in poverty, joy exult in solitude, hope triumph over the grave, and love stretch her bright expanding wings to heaven's eternal bliss, desirous of joining the happy society above, who are sweetly singing, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." Redemption will gather all its trophies from every country under heaven; and in the wonderful varieties in the manner of its application, will display the wisdom, the He was born in 1509, of poor parents, at power, and the glory of its Author, for when Noyou, in Picardy, and was at an early age distinGod the Holy Ghost opens the eye of faith in guished for his piety, and became the protégé of our souls, he opens up the paths of wisdom wealthy family, who sent him to the Paris Uniand goodness before us, and in every step re-versity. While pursuing his studies, he became veals new and wondrous glories to the mind, imbued with the new doctrines, as they were and in all, the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ called, which were so totally opposed to what is beheld, and we heard him cry, "It is fin- would be expected of him as a Romish priest, ished!" All glory to his ever precious name, that he gladly complied with his father's for ever and ever. desire to turn his attention to the law. With this object he studied successively at Orleans and Bruges. Divinity, however, occupied his mind more than law: he read the Scriptures, studied Greek, and at last made an open profession of his belief in the doctrines of the Reformation. Returning to Paris, he there published his first work, which was a com
May the Eternal God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be pleased to bless our souls with the purifying influences of Christ's precious blood; with the application of the exceeding great and precious promises; with precious faith and its victories; with the sweet enjoyment of Christ's precious righteousness; with
CALVIN, was pre-eminently great of all the Reformers, second only to him of Wittembergh, intellectually, perhaps, his equal. At the present day not only are the doctrines of Calvin still firmly professedly maintained in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, England and Scotland, but in the last-mentioned country the form of church government devised by him still prevails. Calvinism is still, as ever, the determined foe of Sacerdotalism. "Wheresoever the Word of God is sincerely preached and heard," says Calvin, "and the sacraments are administered according to the institution of Christ, there, no doubt, is a church of God; since his promise cannot fail, that "where two or three are gathered together in his name he is in the midst of them."
mentary upon Seneca's De Clementier, (Paris, 1532). His religious sentiments drew upon him the indignation of both the Parliament and the Sorbonne, and obliged him to leave Paris, and take shelter, first in one place and afterwards in another, until he finally settled for a while at Angouléme: here he found protection with his friend Louis Du Tillet: here he composed his famous work, called the "Institutes of the Christian Religion."
In 1534, he again returned to Paris, under the auspices of the Queen of Navarre; but in the same year was obliged to quit, not only that city, but France itself, and retire into Switzerland: we there find him residing suc
preached the gospel among them in its purity:
COVERED AMONG SOME OLD PAPERS.
BOWED down with guilt and fear,
cessively at Basle and Geneva. He also made THE LINES FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN DISa hurried tour in Italy. At Geneva he was received with open arms by Faret, Viret, and other leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland. The Reformed Religion had been already adopted and established by law in Geneva, and Calvin was appointed preacher and public lecturer in divinity. Anxious, however, not merely to introduce a change of doctrine, but of morals, he and Viret gave offence to some of the ruling inhabitants, and were consequently both of them expelled by a vote of the Senate, on the 23rd of April, 1538.
In 1541, Calvin and the other exiled ministers were recalled to Geneva with universal acclamation. Thenceforward he was absolute dictator in all matters, whether religious or civil. In the community over which he was called to preside there prevailed a general licentiousness both of morals and manners, and this he determined to restrain. resolved that men calling themselves Christians should acknowledge, outwardly at least, the obligations of religion. Were it not for Calvin and that sturdy little republic to which he gave laws at the foot of the Alps, where would the refugees from France and the Marian exiles from our own country, have found shelter and consolation? There religion and literature flourished together in sweet harmony: there Besa wrote, and Robert Stephens and his more illustrious son Henry, both wrote and printed accurate editions of the Bible, learned commentaries upon the same, theological treatises and editions of the classics issued from the press. The education of all classes was carefully attended to, and persons in power were taught to regard not merely the temporal, but the moral and spiritual interests of their dependants. All this was brought about, under the Divine blessing, by Calvin, himself a rigid and austere man, unblameable in morals, inflexible of purpose, of dauntless energy and perseverance, although of weak health, yet rising by the energy of the soul above the weakness of the body.
I look too much to self;
By blood I'm freed.
And hell seemed open too;
Spilt on the cross!
'Tis all I want!
No merits have I;
The blood now apply.
Cleanse my conscience from guilt,
JESUS, I am thine;
NOTHING am I-
Thou wilt ever them cherish,
For ever and ever;
Thou canst not deny thyself;
We see that he overturns the party of the Libertines, lays the foundation of the greatness of Geneva, establishes foreign churches, strengthens the martyrs, dictates to the Protestant princes the wisest counsels, negotiates, Zaccheus must come down from the sycaargues, teaches, prays, and with his latest more tree, and that quickly, if he would enterbreath gives utterance to words of power, fortain the Son of God; and so with every poor on his death-bed he summoned together the sinner now, whose salvation is brought nigh, principal authorities of Geneva, in whose pre- he first must come down from every high sence he called God to witness that he had thought and imagination.