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near, I sat down on the steps, and wept until can this mean? Where are my sins? What I had no more power to weep. After some can be the meaning of all this? Where is my time I got up, and thought I would go home burden, and the wrath and terror I have had and put an end to my miserable life. Yes,' so many months! And again the text flowed said I, I will come to an end, and know the into my soul, Thou hast led captivity captive; worst at once.' On my way home, as I thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the thought, I got into Cannon Street, and observ-rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell ing a chapel there, into which people were amongst them.' OI knew not where to hide then crowding, I remembered that it was the my poor face! My soul kept whispering, chapel of Mr. Roby, to which I had once or Surely it cannot mean me; is it a dream? twice been in company with my mother. I is it a dream?" I looked for my sins, for my stopped, and said, "Shall I go in?' No,' burden, for the wrath and misery I had so thought I, I will not. The minister will take long carried in my poor distracted soul, and that text, Cursed is every one that contin- could find neither guilt nor sins, wrath nor ueth not in all things written in the book of bondage; for the Saviour of my soul had taken the law to do them.' I proceeded a short dist- them all away. Such a sight of his sufferings ance down the street and stopped again. Who and death shined into my soul, as broke my can tell?' came once inore into my mind. heart to pieces. O how I looked on him and Well,' said I, 'I can but be damned;' and mourned! What have I done?' cried I; 'I so I came to the resolution of going into the have crucified the Lord. O my cursed sins, chapel, and if I perish,' said I, I perish.' that drove the nails into his hands and feet, If ever I entered a place of worship with the and thrust the spear into his heart. O wretch, feeling cry that God would, if it were possi- wretch that I am! And canst thou, wilt thou, ble, shew mercy to one in so desperate a case, save and pardon me, notwithstanding all my I believe I did then. When seated in the cursed sins? How wonderfully was my soul chapel, all the horrors of hell seemed to come led to see that the dear Saviour had fulupon me. I trembled from head to foot, and filled and obeyed that holy law which I had wished that I had never come in. broken in ten-thousand instances, that all my cursed sins had been laid upon him, and that he had suffered in my room and stead. I had so blessed a sight, by faith of his feet and hands nailed to the cross, of the crown of thorns upon his head, and of the spear entering his heart; and his redeeming blood flowed with such peace, and love, and joy, and liberty into my soul, that I hardly knew what or where I was. The poor things who sat in the same seat kept jogging me with their elbows to sit still; but it was impossible for me to sit still or to lie still. O the love I felt to my dear Saviour for such unmerited kindness to one so vile, to the vilest wretch that ever was on the earth! I can never express a thousandth part of the hatred I felt against my cursed sins, which pierced the Lord of life and glory.
"At the conclusion of the first hymn, Mr. Roby went to prayer, and towards the end of it he dropped a few words which I believed were for nobody but me. He begged God that, if there were any one present who had come to make a last trial of his mercy, he would show himself to such a one as his God. It was with hard work that I could keep from calling out, "Yes, here is poor lost John Warburton. Here I am come to make the last trial. O how my soul went out to God in prayer, that he would appear for me.
The prayer being finished, another hymn was sung previous to the sermon. All my little hope seemed dashed to pieces when I saw the minister take his Bible from the cushion to find his text. 0,' thought I, he is certainly seeking for that awful text which has so torn my heart asunder all these months. What shall I do, if he take that text, Cursed is every one,' &c.? O what will become of me? I must drop into hell if he take that.' O the feelings I experienced! I could not imagine why he delayed so long to put the Bible upon the cushion. At last he did so, and I saw that it was opened about the middle. Blessed be God, my soul whispered, the text is not, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them. O the expectation that sprung up within me! Do, Lord, pardon my sins; do, Lord, have mercy upon my poor lost soul,' burst from my heart; and when Mr. Roby read his text, O the wonder and the glory that shone into my soul! The precious text was, 'Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. O the love, peace, and joy that broke into my heart as the words came out of his mouth! They were truly sweeter to my soul than ten thousands of gold and silver. I wondered again with astonishment, and said in my soul, 'What
When the service was over, I went down the street, blessing, thanking, wondering, praising, and adoring the God of my salvation; for text upon text flowed in upon my soul, one after another, with so much power, that sometimes I was obliged to hold my hand upon my mouth to prevent myself from shouting aloud in the street. On my way home I got into the fields as soon as I could, and, when out of sight and hearing of every human being, I shouted, I leaped, I danced, I thanked and praised my dear Jesus with all my might, until my bodily strength was so gone that I fell upon the ground, and there lay, firmly believing that I was upon the point of going to heaven, to be with my dear Lord and Saviour. O what cause of holy wonder I saw in God's being a just God, and yet a Saviour. That holy law that had been my terror for months, which had cursed me for every thought, word, and deed, I now saw completely honoured and righteously fulfilled in Christ. And how precious were these words, 'For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' Whilst another text came upon the back of it with so much power, sweetness, majesty, and glory, that it
tion. God hath appointed it to be so, and who can alter that which he hath fixed? Mere professors may walk in a way that pleases them; but the children of God must walk in a way that shall profit them: and that way is through the wilderness, even that great and terrible wilderness wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions; through a land of deserts and of pits; through a land of drought and of the shadow of death; through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt. And though it be a way that tries our faith, tries our flesh, and tries our patience, yet it is a right way, and leadeth to a city of habitation, God leads his people through the wilderness that he may humble them before him, by shewing them what is in their heart, causing them to feel how vile they are, how weak they are, and how constantly they need his hand to help them. He leads them in the wilderness, that he may chasten them, and teach them out of his law. "He scourgeth every son whom he receiveth," and sheweth them that beloved self must be denied, beloved lusts abstained from, and beloved notions parted with; and that their souls must be brought into subjection to him, the Father of spirits, "for as many as are led (or governed) by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
overwelmed me with adoration, praise, and thanksgiving: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.' I saw, and believed, that Christ had stood in my law place and stead, and that all the wrath and damnation which I had deserved at the hands of a just God had been laid upon Jesus. I saw that he bad stood as my Surety and Bondsman, had atoned for all my sins, and magnified the law, and made it honourable in so holy a way, that there could be no condemnation either from heaven, earth, or hell. My poor soul was so carried away, with the transports of joy, that if any body had seen me they would have supposed that I had just escaped from Bedlam; for I shouted, danced and clapped my hands with sweet delight. It was, indeed, a heaven upon earth. Those precious words of David were the very feelings of my heart at that time: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.' I was blessing and praising God all my way home. My poor wife had been very uneasy on my account, for it was a very late hour when I reached home. But no wonder, It is in the wilderness that God makes those for every tree of the field, every bird of the high and holy discoveries of himself to his air, every beast and insect, even to the crawl- people. He appeared to Jacob at Luz, and to ing worm, furnished me with matter of songs, Moses at the bush, and they never forget those wonder, and praise. They were all new to appearances. No more can you, dear reader, me. In all of them I could see the hand of my if ever God hath appeared unto thy soul, and Father and my God. I could not help telling favoured thee with those hallowed moments of my wife the comfort which I had received his presence. The sensations may not abide, God, I told her, had pardoned all my sins. I but the remembrance of them doth, and will told her of the dreadful state she was in, and do, for ever. For the wilderness, with all its how awful a thing it would be for her do die cares, fears, and tears, can never deface those in it. I then told her how the Lord had impressions made on the soul by his presence, appeared for me, and what he had suffered for they endure for ever as the lasting effects and my poor soul, and how he had pardoned all proofs of his unmerited kindness. What must my sins. The poor thing thought I was out have been the feelings of Moses when he uttered of my mind; but I told her I was saying that part of Israel's benediction on Joseph, nothing but the truth, and that all my sins" and for the good will of him that dwelt in had been actually pardoned and taken away by my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and that I desired henceforth to live and die praising and adoring him for his wonderful good to one so vile. In this happy state of liberty, peace, and praise I lived for months.
the bush!" What a blessed reviving time was this in his soul methinks! What a sweet proof of the unchanged affection of God after a forty years changing about in the wilderness! And what a rich antepast of heaven into which he was shortly to enter! No wonder that blessed Huntington visited those places from time to time, where at first the loving kindness of God beamed into his soul.
It is in the wilderness, then, O believer, that God gives us the sweet tokens of his love; the immortal sensations of his kindness; the sacred pledges of his friendship; and the infallible proofs of our adoption. It is there that he opens the fountain of life which redresseth all our woes, even that abundant life that swelleth beyond the utmost bounds of our spiritual death, that riseth above the highest hills of our heaven itself, enveloping the soul in its high sins, fears, guilt, and misery; yea, riseth into and sacred pleasures.
Hath God shewn thee, dear reader, where the fountain of life is opened? even in the bosom of his beloved Son? in whom he loves thee, and embraceth the whole family? Hast thou received of its blessed properties? Hath
FROM CHELMSFORD TO NORWICH.
it revived thy fainting spirit?, calmed the MR. JOHN CORBITT'S REMOVAL surges of thy troubled spirit? Hath it caused thee to rise above thy fears, guilts, and distress? and to say, in the language of holy Deborah, "O, my soul, thou hast trodden down strength?" Be of good cheer, then! fear not to tread the wilderness: it is but the threshold into our Father's house; and a few more stops, and a few more steps, and we shall soon get over it,
and be at home.
Now, with respect to their journeyings and encampments, we find they were all directed of the Lord; as in Num. ix. 18-22: "At the commandment of the Lord the children of
Israel journeyed; and at the commandment of
Times of triumph and relief;
As shall please my heavenly Friend." Just a word here, relative to the promised rest. This rest was in the land of Canaan-a land which the Lord "espied out for them, flowing with milk and honey-the glory of all lands," which, from its great variety of soil, extensive plains, secluded valleys, and fertilizing streams, has justly been called "an epitome of all countries." But the principal thing to be considered in this land is, the rest which God gave his people there. This rest they did not fully enjoy until the reign of Solomon, under whose reign the ark found a resting place their enemies were trodden down; and every man sat under his own vine and fig-tree." It is at this period, and high pitch of their national glory, that I judge we are to own Canaan as the typical rest of the people of God. But more of this in another place. So with the Christian pilgrim, he gains not his eternal and uninterrupted rest until all his enemies-sin and Satan, death and hell-are trodden down for ever.
Having made these introductory remarks, I proceed now to consider
1. The children of Israel.
2. Their going down into Egypt.
3. Their bondage.
4. Their deliverance.
5. Their encampments in the wilderness.
DEAR BROTHER-I here give you a short account of my leaving Chelmsford, and coming to Norwich. My only reason is that misconception, false representation, and slander, may be met by truth, justice, and candour; and that my numerous friends, in different parts of the country, may have the best means of knowing the truth of my movements, I send it through "THE EARTHEN VESSEL.
As to my leaving Chelmsford, be it known, it was not for the want of a congregation; for that the Lord sent me, and maintained to the last; nor was it from non-success in the ministry, for this we had satisfactory evidence of; nor for the lack of temporal supplies; for I had an abundance of them: and the unremitting attention of my friends in sickness, and their constant liberality to me, have left a lasting impression on my mind of gratitude
that I believe time will never erase; and this
applies to more than half the church and congregation. So that our separation was something like separating flesh and bone: for our hope, our interests, our faith, our love, and our hearts were one; and, I believe, still are.
As to the agency, and the means employed, which brought about my removal from Chelmsford, I shall say nothing. However unjust or unkind it may appear in the eyes of the majority of the church and congregation, it is sufficient for me to say there were several large stumbling blocks laid themselves in my way, so that I could not get a straight path for my feet; and when I found they were immovable, I gave in my resignation to close my labours the last Sabbath in January; and as no better understanding could be come to, I resolved not to occupy that pulpit after that time, unless I had a fresh invitation from the authorities who chose to act without the majority of the church, and contrary to it.
On Wednesday night, February 28th, I had no engagement for the first of February, neither did any minister or people know that I should be at liberty that day, nor did I know whether my professed friends would invite me again or not; so I felt determined to stand still, and let the Lord work.
On Thursday, January 29th, I received a note from brother C. W. Banks, pressing me to go to Norwich for the first of February, (if I could not go for all the month), although he knew nothing about my being at liberty: he informed me Mr. George Kellaway was engaged for Norwich, but he was taken ill, and could not go; and not being invited to occupy the pulpit at Chelmsford, I wrote to C. W. Banks on Friday morning, to say I would go to Norwich on Lord's-day, February 1st, if he sent me directions in time.
On Saturday morning, at 8 o'clock, I got my
6. Their passage over Jordan, and subse-directions, and at a quarter-past 9 I was on my
7. Their rest under the reign of Solomon. A SOJOURNER.
Yarmouth, May 4th, 1857.
To be continued every month.
way thither. This was all the time, knowledge, or hand I had in coming to Norwich the first time. Yet slanderous tongues have said it was a premeditated scheme between me and Mr. Banks. But the Lord knoweth that they lie in that matter.
On Sabbath morning I entered the chapel at Orford Hill, Norwich, without being crowded; the snow laid thick on the ground; myself, people, and weather, all appeared cold alike. The chapel, which will seat 600 persons comfortably, looked very disconsolate with between sixty and eighty people in it: but they much increased in the afternoon and evening; and I was pressed to stop a fortnight longer. I could not promise until I had learned what was done at Chelmsford in my absence. When I returned, I found nothing was done. I told them that I should be absent the next two Lord'sdays, and leave them to settle matters the best way they could; and then I engaged for Norwich for the 8th and 15th of that month.
During this visit, my friends at Chelmsford wrote to inform me that no reconciliation could be come to with the ruling authorities-either to submit to the majority of the church, or to settle the matters by arbitration of two ministers on each side. Therefore, much as they esteemed me, and desired my continuance amongst them, they could not advise me to think of continuing in that chapel with such persons. Accordingly, I gave them notice that I would preach my farewell sermon on Feb. 22nd, and did so from Amos viii. 2: "The end is come." [A short sketch of this sermon is published; and may be had, post-free, to any part of the kingdom; five of them for six penny postage stamps, by addressing-Mr. John Corbitt, Baptist Minister, No. 8, St. Katherine's Plain, Norwich.]
My friends at Chelmsford did, in a most earnest manner, entreat me to allow them to build another place, but this I could not do, feeling I ought not to split that little cause, and from the words of Scripture I had been impressed with, I believe the Lord had designed me for some other sphere of action.
Now comes the mysterious doings of the Lord in sending me to settle at Norwich for a season. Previous to my leaving Chelmsford, I had been very earnest with the Lord in prayer to settle the matter for me, and to reconcile me either to stop or go. One night in particular I was led out in private prayer to say "Dear Lord, do send me some portion of thy word that shall settle the matter in my soul, as thou used to do years ago when I needed it." When I was in bed that night, before I went to sleep, I was arrested with these words-"Unto whom I now send thee."
They aroused me, and kept me awake from 10 o'clock till 12. I then went down, and found them in Acts xxvi. 17, 18. They read as follow:-" Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee: to open their blind eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light; and from the power of Satan to God: that they may receive forgiveness of sins: and inheritance amongst them that are sanctified by faith that is in me." As soon as I had read these words I ran up to my dear companion with the Bible open in my hand, and said, "I have got my warrant to leave this place." At another time, I had been praying in the same earnest way, and opened the Bible promiscuously, and the first thing that caught my eye was the 12th of Ezekiel, particularly the third verse-" There-'
fore, thou Son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight: and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house." Of these things I made no secret: there are more than twenty people in Chelmsford that will witness that I told them these things. Yet, I was desirous to stop there if I could righteously: and after my deliverance from them was brought about, I had a desperate struggle about coming to Norwich. For before we were the least unsettled at Chelmsford, we had agreed, having thirteen children and grandchildren in America, that if ever we left Chelmsford we would go and see them before I settled down again. And I had packed three large boxes, and secured them with iron hoops for the seas. I had also obtained information from a ship's company at Liverpool that we could go from there to New York in a steamer that would accomplish the distance in a fortnight, with luggage and board included, for eight guineas each. I had also made several engagements about the country to supply, and intended going about supplying until the time arrived; and then, without saying anything to anyone, to depart: but the Lord's ways are not my ways, nor his thoughts my thoughts: this is more than evident; for, the week before the expiration of my then engagement here, I received a note from Willinghall, Staffordshire, and was engaged for the 22nd of March, to say they would postpone their anniversary, and forego the engagement. This disarranged all my plans, and frustrated all my schemes; and I was thrown back upon Norwich: and, as I was much perplexed with my disappointment, the Lord again sounded in my ears the words"Unto whom now I send thee; unto whom now I send thee; unto whom now I send thee." So that I got very little sleep for them, and I could see that the Lord had, in a marvellous manner, sent me here. Still, I wanted to go to America before I settled again, but the words "To whom now I send thee:" (NOT PRESENTLY), but Now, sounded loudly; and other Scriptures echoed "you are to remove to another place in the sight of those you have left." If you go to America you will be out of their sight; and these things kept repeating, and the friends here entreating, until I became ashamed before the Lord, and said, "Lord, make me willing to go thy way, and to do thy will." Then Jonah's turning away from Nineveh came so vivedly and terrificly before me that I shrank at the thought of rebellion; and I fully believed that if I did make an excuse to get from Norwich, and go somewhere else, it would be nothing less than high treason against the Majesty of heaven, and an exact parallel with Jonah. The people kept entreating, the words "unto whom I NOW send thee," kept repeating, that I had no solid peace until I had forgone the thoughts of emigration, and accepted the unanimous call of this people for twelvemonths, that we might the better learn the Lord's will concerning us. This I did March 22nd, 1857; and from that time I have felt a calm resignation and humble reliance on the Lord, and sweet access at the throne of grace.
As for what the tongues of those can say who were the means of moving me from Chelmsford I fear not. Let them take all the honour they can get from rejecting the gospel, and scattering the flock, and I will take all the rebuke and censure that any please to throw upon me for being the means of gathering a congregation at Orford Hill Chapel, Norwich. That "the Lord reigneth' was never clearer seen than in these matters.
What the ultimate result may be, futurity | old fifteen hundred Divine, in his "Private Key must make plain. I only know that it has, to Open Heaven,") says, "Remember ye are and I believe ever will be, with me, as it was the only persons in all the world that God hath with Paul, that "in every city, bonds and made choice of to reveal his secrets unto;" afflictions abide me : but none of these things quoting that striking word of the Saviour to move me; neither would I count my life dear his disciples-" Henceforth I call you not to me, so that I might finish my course with servants, for the servant knoweth not what his joy, and the ministry which I have received of Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of his for all things that I have heard of my Father Í grace." have made known unto you." This appears to me to be the grand, the essential, the vital, the discriminating, the saving mark of dis tinction between foolish and wise virgins; the secret oil in the vessel; the secret soul-quickening, heaven opening, heart-searching, truthunfolding, indwelling powers of THE SPIRIT of the living GOD; revealing, little by little, the deep things of God. There are the secrets of Providence: "The Lord said, shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do ?" Genesis xviii. 17. No! the Lord will not hide it from Abraham and there is poor old, Micaiah (1 Kings xxii.) whom they hated and despised; he stood out against four hundred prophets, and told them to their face (when he was sent for :-mark that, brethren; Micaiah did not run presumptuously against other men ; but), when they fetched him out of prison-when the providence of God clearly opened up the way-then Micaiah stood in the midst of them, and he hesitated not to say, "Behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of God; he declared it boldly when demanded, all these prophets." Micaiah had the mind of and it came to pass. Some men despise the secrets of a Divine Providence; but, in the development of them, my soul obtains her comfort.
Your's, in the love of God,
PSALM XLVIII. 12, 13.
DEAR BRETHREN,-As it is impossible for me to write private letters to all who so kindly write to me, presume to give you a few words respecting the appearance of things in our home churches, as far as I am acquainted with them, through the medium of the EARTHEN VESSEL; and as I frequently occupy myself, while travelling, by writing short notes, I here present you with a few; and will send you more in future numbers, if Providence and power permit, assuring you that I have much to say upon the present state of things; but time does not now serve. I am, as ever, yours in the gospel,
CHARLES WATERS BANKS. THURSDAY MORNING, April 9, 1857.-'Tis a dark morning-pouring with rain-I am literally crammed in one corner of an Eastern Counties; the passengers are quarrelling about the inconvenience of the accommodation, and the accidents connected with travelling; but, in a moment of prayer this morning, that word flowed into my soul, which was so expressly the dying testimony of my beloved mother; so prophetically the words of David; and so literally the words of Christ on the cross-"Into thy hands I commit my spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." Before I left home, I read Psalm cxxi." The Lord is thy keeper," &c; therefore, as I journey onward to Saxmundham, in Suffolk, I shall try and write a few lines, which, with God's blessing, may be of use to some of the hidden ones who, in their retirement, read THE EARTHEN VESSEL.
The last verse of the 28th Psalm is a nice portion-it has been sweet to me-it is a short, but exceedingly comprehensive, prayer-"Save thy people, bless thine inheritance; feed them also; and LIFT THEM UP for ever.' In a most emphatic manner, Thomas Brooks, (an
There is an amazing excitement in these days, touching the preaching of the gospel ; and tens of thousands are moved toward it in a way they never were before; and I have very sincerely hoped the movement was of God; and I, by no means, deny that the hand of God is not in it. But there have appeared some things very painful to my mind, espe cially the merchandise; the money-making; the unholy, and, in many cases, dishonorable, trafficking; it has made the hearts of many And, while I still honest men to tremble. would hope that the glorious gospel is now preached to thousands, and tens of thousands, who, perhaps, never heard the distinguishing doctrines of it before, still, I would ask my readers, my brethren, my countrymen, my friends, yea, and my foes too, to ponder over some weighty matters which hereafter may ap pear.
SAXMUNUDHAM, SUFFOLK, April 11.-The Lord brought me here safe last Thursday, and yesterday (Good Friday) we celebrated the anniversary of the formation of the first Baptist Church in this town. It is pleasant to find the little cause here steadily growing under our brother William Day's ministry: and it certainly is, for the chapel, the church, and the congregation, all are increasing and improving. Under God, this cause owes its origin to two or three families in this neighbourhood. Our good friend, Robert Barnes of Sternfield Hall, built the chapel, (of whom, as soon as possible, the church must purchase it.)