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"THE REDEMPTION FUND." | me, some from Staley Bridge, and others: and not only gave me kind words, but the following donation toward the Redemption Fund, namely, Mr. John Standever, 2s. 6d.; the aged and much esteemed brother Roberts, 2s. 6d.; brother George Woods, Staley Bridge, 2s. 6d.; brother W. Woods, 2s. I felt deeply grateful, because the friends did all this with hearty good wishes for my deliverance; and when I know how bitter many of the Churches of Truth in this northen part are against The Earthen Vessel, a little kind sympathy becomes doubly dear. I wish some true Jerusalem blade '-made fit for Gospel work by Zion's Covenant Head-could be sent to Staley Bridge. As I sat in the Vestry, just before evening service, a friend came in, and put into my hand a sealed up paper, directed C. W. Banks. I thanked him; and placed it in my pocket; and went into the pulpit to my work. I was favored with some holy and happy feeling, I believe Jacob's God was there: all seemed happy. When I retired to my room, I opened the packet-a piece of paper was there, on it was written:
Manchester, Sept. 19, 1858. To Mr. Banks. Sir, I beg your acceptance of the enclosed to wards the Redemption Fund for the EARTHEN VESSEL. From A CONSTANT READER.
On opening the packet further, I found in it five sovereigns. Who this kind friend is, I cannot tell. I felt my heart moved gratefully to heaven; aud tried to thank my gracious God: and I do pray that He may bless the donor; and make the EARTHEN VESSEL & great instrument of good to precious ransomed souls. Thus encouraged, I feel emboldened to believe the Lord will yet fulfil the promises in Psalm the 91st, so specially given to C. W. B. in brother Smith's room at Grittleton. Amen.
Some contributions have not been noticed. They are few. We did not feel happy in publishing this every month. We found,- -we still find, the burden hangs amazingly heavy. Our hearts have been made to bleed again and again. We have been overwilling, and overzealous, no doubt. We have been involvd; but as fast as is possible, the mountain is melting. A great deal remains to be done; and if we find it cannot be done without personally visiting the many friends who have said, 'come and see us, and preach to us:' if we find that, after labouring as we have done these last few years in London, and in all parts of the country, that we cannot be helped to remove the difficulties, we certainly feel strongly moved to travel into those parts of the kingdom where the gospel is not preached; and there, (God helping and teaching,) endeavoured to plant the Gospel of Christ, as we have been taught it. Never, in any part of our life, have we had more holy liberty in preaching Christ, than we have had this year; never were we more fully and constantly engaged. And, yet, after all, we are groaning under a burden which, (with reproaches and unholy smitings,) often threatens to crush us completely, yet have been upheld till now.' But, never, we fear, until we obey the secret impulse, and listen to the voice without, shall we obtain deliverance. We expect, next month, to render an account of all received since last list; but we write this in Manchester: we are never scarcely at home; and it will take time to examine letters and report progress. Those who have sent, but have not been acknowledged, must forgive us. We hope the Lord's promise given us in the end of Psalm xci. will yet be fully realized; and that although we 'walk in the midst of trouble,' yet that the LORD will arise for our help; and plead our cause.-THE EDITOR.
DEAR SIR-My mind having been exercised on that passage in 15th chapter of John 2nd verse, every branch in me,' &c., I should much rejoice to see a few words from you, or some friend, in next month's number. My own thoughts upon it is in him professionally, as the meaning, but the Wesleyan says it is an evidence of an elect vessels insecurity. Your's truly, ENQUIRER. Sep. 9, 1858,
Manchester, Monday, Sep. 20, 1858. The above was written here on Saturday evening, in brother Samuel's study. I had travelled all day; and in mind and body was weak and weary: feeling very unfitted to preach three times the next day. Before I retired to rest, the words of Jeremiah (xx. 9,) fixed on my mind, 'Then I said, I will not make mention of HIM, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in my bones: I was weary with forbearing; and could not stay!' I certainly did not wish to preach from these words; but I could obtain no other: although, to me it was a heavy time, still, to one long afflicted minister it was made a special blessing, Who therefore, can tell, but that our blessed Lord might have brought me
DEAR MR. EDITOR-I shall take it as a dents will reply to the following query, which great favour, if you or any of your correspon beg you will insert in your VESSEL. gospel to all men, and all men have it not in Query.-That if, there is no offer in the
here on purpose to be a comfort to that poor aged servant of his? Through the mercy of the Lord, I was helped to speak three times their power to receive it, is not the message, in his dear name: and I do hope 'preach the Gospel to every creature,' a tanI have the honor to be your's JAMES.
ing was in it.' I must acknowledge with talizing one? gratitude the following facts. On leav-faithfully in Christ ing the chapel after afternoon service, there [We leave this open to correspondents was a cluster of dear friends gathered round first.-ED.]
Why is the Gospel to be preached universally?
“The Greatest Sinner ever Saved by the Precious Blood of Christ."
A REVIEW OF MR. WALE'S SERMON ON "THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES." In a Letter to Samuel Foster, of Sturry, next Canterbury.
MY LONG AFFLICTED, HIGHLY FAVOURED BROTHER IN CHRIST-I write these few lines to you on the coast of Essex, and I address them to you, particularly, for two special reasons:-first, because I wish the churches of Christ to know that you are still in the furnace and fire of deep afflictions, hoping thousands of praying hearts may be moved toward the mercy-seat on your behalf; and, secondly, because, yesterday, an extraordinary sermon, preached in Reading, by our much esteemed brother, Benjamin B. Wale, came into my hands, and an extract from which I believe will, in the Lord's mercy, be a great comfort to your mind, as on your bed of sickness you are tossing to and fro. Let me first open my own heart's feelings to you; and then I hope to lay before you something much more valuable than anything I can write. I assure you while many are disputing in hard, cold, controversies, I am generally so deep in tribulation's path, and so closely pressed in gospel work, I constantly feel a great necessity for looking to heaven for help. I would never countenance the thought that the Lord has led me into any of the difficulties in which I have struggled. No, the Lord forbid, but I will tell you one thing which once a little relieved my spirit; the Master said, 'where much is forgiven, the same loveth much and it has been said again by some of the Master's servants that the two wheels which carry the church of Christ safely through this wilderness, are LOVE and FEAR: if there be nothing but LOVE, then, we fly too high for our present condition; and Satan, and the flesh will take advantage of such a condition of soul; and perhaps fill you with pride, presumption, self-confidence, and a measure of recklessness; which may be followed by many days of heavy sorrow; because there is a difference between having the Love of God shed abroad in the heart, by the Holy Ghost given unto us; and that love to the truth, and to the Lord's people, which may sometimes flow out of our own hearts. Now, if I have had forgiveness at all, I have had much forgiven; albeit Satan has tried to make a great market of me; hence, my love has frequently been greatly checked by fears of a frightful kind, for often, indeed have I heard the whisper in the secret chambers of my soul, saying, ' Ah! these good men who so oppose are right; and you are wrong.' Oh, VOL. XIV.-No. 162:
| Samuel, if we had nothing but these FEARS, we should drag on a miserable existence; but bless the Lord, Love comes in again, and so equally balances us, that we move safely, and go on from strength to strength, until I hope, through the mercy and the merits of a dear Redeemer; the teachings and trainings of the Holy Spirit; through the trials and triumphs of a heaven-born faith; through the all-prevailing intercessions of our glorious ADVOCATE on high, we shall, at length, be brought into the desired haven; and if the Lord will give me an honorable issue out of earthly trials, and a happy entrance into his kingdom, I know it will be great grace indeed; and I shall have great cause to sing as loud as any, 'unto Him that loved us ! &c., &c.
In this time-state, it is possible for Love, in the heart of a pardoned sinner, to act unwisely; and Satan, seeing he cannot drive us back from the Truth, will even aim to pitch us headlong into some over-zealous course of action, which may teach us that there is a need be for those sharp reproofs, chastenings, crosses, and woes, which bring up FEAR in our spirits, amd bring our spirits down into that contrition, reverence, and earnest seeking the Lord, which worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at things seen by nature's eye, but at those seen only by faith's eye, which are eternal, and well secured to them who, by the power of God, are kept.
The two wheels I have referred to, LOVE and FEAR, both came to my door, and into my heart too, before I left home yesterday morning. Fear came in a letter from my kind and faithful brother John Bosworth, of Manchester, who, as a Christian man, wrote me a faithful reproof, which I hope to profit by; for I am sure John Bosworth, only seeks to do good; and the strongest feeling in my soul is to prove to him that a righteous Redeemer will in his time, raise up in honor and in holy freedom my long-oppressed spirit. I say no more on that head now; because just at the moment when Fear was fighting hard to unfit me for my work, the other wheel, LOVE, came to my help, in a letter from brother Wale, of Reading; which letter contained a sermon preached by him, bearing this title, The Cloud of Witnesses ! and from whence I desire to draw an extract or two for the happy refreshing of yourself, and the thousands who now read the pages
of this little work, Mr. Wale's sermon, The seeism is respectably attired.) He is arrayed Cloud of Witnesses' has been published by in priestly robes; he has had a collegiate the request of those who heard it. Identified training; he dwells in a mansion, where as I have been with Mr. Wale's settlement much piety is professed; he is supported by at Reading, I am free to confess that his ex- a huge mass of Nonconformist preachers; ceedingly happy success as the Minister of Missionary advocates; teachers, intelligent Christ's gospel in London-street Chapel, dames, respectable trades-people; and a Reading, and the steady expansion of his long train of I know not who all-enough to mind in the public dispensation of the Word daunt the Pleader, but nothing daunted, he of Life, are facts productive of such pleasur- cries out, Modern Phariseeism, what is able feelings as I am not careful to describe, your charge?' 'I answer, Jesus Christ canbecause the sky scrapers' on the one hand, not save these sinners, unless they can bring and the mud-larks' on the other, are sure to something as their part of the covenant. be angry. I spare them; and ask the same Then the witnesses are called. I must not favor at their hands. But to the sermon it- describe them all; but after Jonah, Asaph, and self, the text is a part of Heb. xii. 1. After David, have given in their evidence touching taking a hasty review of the apostle's drift the greatness and completeness of Christ's in his epistle to the Hebrews, Mr. Wale finds salvation, then, among others, we have Eliin his text a junction, with two lines running jah from the Old Tesatment; and Mary in different directions, on one is written, a Magdalene from the New; and these I give Comparison- a cloud :' on the other a Char- as I find them written down in this sermon. acter a cloud of witnesses.' With much or- They are beyond all praise. Here they are. iginality of thought, the preacher gives three illustrations of the cloud,' and then proceeds to work out the second title of this sermon, 'Jesus Christ tried and acquitted. In perusing this second part of the discourse, which I read carefully while travelling to Woodham Ferriss, (and where last evening I had a solemn season in preaching to a crowd of people,) in attentively going over the pages of this sermon I was surprised, edified, and made glad. No one will question Mr. Wale's originality of style, when I affirm that in this discourse he puts Jesus Christ on his trial. The trial of Christ goes on; the necessity for this trial is shewn in that there are three great accusers, the Devil; Unbelief; and Modern Phariseeism, who are always raising false charges against the Saviour; and are perpetually hurling these charges at those persons whose hearts are stirred up in them to seek salvation in the Holy Person and work of the SON OF GOD. Mr. Wale seems to have suffered so much from these charges that he determines to expose them; and, if possible to raise the minds of the Lord's people above them. The preacher allows the three great accusations to be brought into court. The glorious GOD-MAN, JESUS, the Saviour of sinners, is present, sitting on the throne of his Mediatorial kingdom. Now listen to the Pleader who stands between the Saviour, the multitude of sinners who are seeking pardon at his feet, and the trinity of opposers who are labouring to drive back these Comers unto Christ. Satan, what have you to say? The adversary answers, the sins of these poor wretches are too great to be pardoned by Jesus Christ.' The Pleader turns to a second,
Unbelief! what have you to say? 'I say, Jesus Christ is not willing to save these chief of sinners!' the third enemy is appealed to: Modern Phariseeism! What can you dare to say? (Modern Phari
'Now from this cloud of witnesses 'we want one who can bear testimony to God's providential care of his children while on their way to a Father's house. Many of them can trust God with the salvation of their souls and the great interests of eternity, but the food and raiment of the present life seem to be beneath his notice, or beyond his power. The God of providence is too old-fashioned for our modern notions; the God who com manded the gushing stream from the smitten rock to follow the Israelites through the parched desert; that gave them shoes that wore not out; that miraculously increased the widow's oil, and commanded the ravens to shipped, is no longer believed in by us, their feed Elijah-the God that our fathers wor degenerate children.
"Brother Elijah, you seem anxious to speak, and as you were one of the destitute of whom the Apostle speaks, we should be glad to hear how the Lord appeared for you in the hour of your destitution. During a time of great famine and drought, you had lodgings in the wilderness of Damscus, by the brook Cherith, had you not? Yes,' Will you tell me how the Lord provided for you there? ther was not my own choice; it was at the First of all you will observe that going thi Lord's bidding I went, and he told me that he had commanded the ravens to feed me there. I reached the brook in the middle of the day, and sat down to rest; how anxiously as the day wore away, and the evening came on, did I look at every bird that flitted past, or sped home to its nest in the lonely crag. At length, as hope grew tired of waiting, they came-the promised ravens-the two mysterious birds; one laid at my feet the bread, the other the meat, and cawed and croaked and pranced so proudly, as if glad to seemed ready to burst with wonder, love, be employed in God's service. My heart and praise. How many tears of gratitude mingled with that evening meal. But at last I grew so used to the coming of these black
messengers, that I ceased to wonder at it; it seemed so natural that they should comeand so natural too that the brook should continue to flow, though there had been no rain for a year-that I ceased to look at either as a miracle of mercy, or an evidence of my heavenly Father's providential care.
'Then Elijah you were like the rest of us, you had witnessed so much of the Lord's goodness so long, that you began to hold it cheap, and to think lightly of it: but what did your heavenly Father do then? begin to stir up your nest? make you less comfortable in your desert home? He did. One morning I went as usual to the brook to drink, and the brook was dried up. I stood for a moment amazed and bewildered. Was it my lot after all to die of thirst in the wilderness? I turned my face enquiringly to the sky-no cloud shadowed its terrible brightness. Anxiously I waited for my friends the ravens; they came not; hungry and faint my soul died within me. Doubt and fear assailed my heart, my God hath forgotten me, said I, he hath brought me into the wilderness to kill me.'
'Then it appears, brother Elijah, that you were like the rest of us, as brother James says, 'a man of like passions with ourselves,' while the bread and meat are placed every morning in our cupboards, we can trust God too, but the moment the supplies cease, we begin to grumble and despair, like yours, our faith dries up with the brook. But tell us, did not the Lord appear for you in your distress? yes, for though we believe not, yet he abideth faithful. He sent me to Zarephath, a city of Sidon, and told me that a widow should support me there. I did not much like being dependant upon a poor widow, it seemed rather humbling, especially when I found her gathering two sticks to prepare the last meal for herself and son. But still by another miracle of mercy the Lord provided for me there, and sustained her soul alive as well.'
Then he always provided for you, Elijah, though not till the moment of extreme necessity when you were literally brought to your wit's end, and then by the most unlikely and bumiliating means? Yes.' But the accuser of our God in the court of conscience says in reply to your statement that that was the age of miracles, that God has changed, and does not take so much notice of his children now. Have you any reason to think that he has changed, brother Elijah ? 'Changed? hath he not said I am the Lord, I change not ?' Let God be true and every man a liar. Doth he not still clothe the grass of the field which to day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven? still provide for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God and wander for lack of meat? what then? has he forsaken his children to bestow all his care upon the beasts of the forest, and the birds of the air? he careth still for them, and are not his children of much more value than they? does he cause his rain to fall upon the wilderness wherein there is no man, to satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to refresh the lonely flower, which blossoms unseen by any eye save his, and can he be indifferent to the souls of those
beings whom he has sent his Son to redeem, and his Spirit to sanctify? hath he taken his name off the gateway of creation ? are his granaries exhausted? or hath he lost the keys? or hath he made over the stores of his providence to some deputy God who can see the righteous perish without laying it to heart? A sparrow cannot fall to the ground without him; let his children be of good cheer, they are of more value than many sparrows.
That will do, Brother Elijah; yours is a warm defence of his providential care; may we ever realize it in our own experience. It hath been well said, that 'he who watches providence, shall never want a providence to watch.'
The next accusation lodged by the devil, in the court of the believer's conscience, is, that his sins are too great to be pardoned, that the blood of Christ can never atone for his sins, nor cleanse his conscience from its guilt. Who among this cloud of witnesses," can come forward to rebuff the accuser, and prove that the blood of Christ can save even to the uttermost? And remember we must have none but great sinners here, the very worst we can find. Who is that woman pressing so hastily forward? The 'cloud of witnesses' smile as they see her eagerness to speak. Woman, what hast thou to say? That I am here to bear witness to the all-atoning and allcleansing power of the blood of Christ, and to hurl back into his face the evil report that the accuser brings against my Lord. He was a liar from the beginning, and I am here to prove that he is a liar still.' Well said, sister, you don't mince the matter, but we should like to ask you a few questions. First of all, where were you born? 'In Jericho, the accursed city? Of what country are you? I am a Canaanite.' What was your religion? Idolatry.' What your profession? 'A harlot.' What is your name? Rahab.' Rahab! why that is the name that the prophet Isaiah gives to the old dragon, the devil, is it not? yes.' Then if I understand you rightly, you were accursed in birth, a heathen in nation, an idolator in religion, a harlot in trade, and a devil? I plead guilty to all.' Well, you had not muchto recommend you to Jesus Christ, certainly; but what have you to say to the power of his love and blood? "What? why that he shewed me that the way from the accursed city, from the power of sin, the depravity of an evil heart, and the damnation of hell, to the promised land, to a dwelling place with his children, and himself, was by the scarlet line of Calvary, that the whole way. was tracked with blood; and having placed the clue in the hand of faith, it held fast that clue, till by that cord of love he drew me home. And by placing that clue of love in the hand of the poor harlot, he shewed that he was no respecter of persons, that there was no depth of misery which his long arm of mercy could not reach, no hardened heart nor rebellious will, that his transforming grace could not subdue.'
Well done, sister, yours is a good testimony: but who is that woman by your side, so anxious to get into the witness box? Is she a relative of yours? There seems to be a strong
'O! it is sister Mary: a sister in sin, and a sister in mercy; she too was a great sinner.' All right sister Rahab, but we would rather hear her speak for herself.
forgiven thee.' 0, the unspeakable joy of that hour! poor Mary, the harlot, got the start of Simon, the Pharisee, and went away with the full discharge of all her sins in her bosom, and the peace that passeth all understanding in her heart.
'And well he
Well Mary, your's is a glorious testimony It seems to the unspeakable love of Christ. to make the accuser himself uneasy, he stands there trembling in his shoes. may, for he knows how many lies I've found him out in, he was a liar from the beginning, and is so still! By the by Mary, do you know that ugly looking fellow by his side, him with Why that is the hang-dog countenance? Unbelief, I knew him well, too well, he never spoke the truth of Jesus yet, I shall never for get how he tried to deceive me on the morning of the Saviour's resurrection, he told me that I should never see Christ alive againthat I should find his dead body in the grave. And I, fool that I was, believed him, and while it was yet dark took a box of ointment to the sepulchre to anoint his corpse. But he was gone. The tomb was empty. Even then Unbelief denied his resurrection, and told me the gardener had taken him away. I looked hurriedly round, and seeing him whom I supposed to be the gardener, I begged him with many tears to tell me where he had laid my Lord. He said, 'Mary,' it was he himself. I had been seeking a dead Christ, and I had found a risen Saviour. I sprang to his feet, but with a look of love he said, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, and to your Father-to my God and to your God.' Yes, all that he said of himself he said of me, that his God and Father were my Father and my God! poor Mary the harlot, one with Jesus Christ! Unbelief fled away confounded, and left me alone with Jesus.'
Well, after such a testimony as thine, Mary, none need despair. Such love and grace can indeed save to the uttermost.
I could hardly contain myself while sister Rahab was speaking; my sins so far outstripped her's. I am the greatest sinner ever saved by the precious blood of Christ.' I say sister, if brother Paul were here, he would deny that, for he lays claim to the title of the chief of sinners, and, I think, by the looks of some of our friends present, they feel disposed to dispute it too, but go on. What is your name? Mary Magdalene.' Magdalene? why that signifies the great sinner, does it not? Were you then infamous for sin? Yes, the boys and girls in the streets of Jerusalem used to hoot me as I passed, and say, 'there goes Magdalene, the great sinner.' The Pharisee gathered his long robe tighter and closer round him, lest I should touch his broad phylactery as I passed. So vile was I that everybody despised and loathed me. My body belonged to any son of Belial, and as for my soul, the devils made so sure of that, they waited not till death to claim it, but took possession of it while living-made it their house, went in and out as they pleased. Till one day, as I sat by the roadside weeping, I saw a crowd approach, and enquiring what it meant, they told me that Jesus of Nazareth passed by. Moved by an impulse which I could not control, but which the devils within me tried to prevent, I rose and looked over the heads of the crowd to see him. His eye met mine; it was a look of compassion. I cried out, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.' The devils tried to drag me away, but I cried all the more. At last he turned and said, 'Come out of her, ye foul spirits.' Casting me down in their rage, at his bidding they fled. I rose and followed the crowd, mingle with it I could not, for they all knew how vile I was. I waited till I saw them disperse, and then I followed him. He entered the house of Simon, the Pharisee. I looked eagerly after him as he entered, but Simon frowned me back. I lingered round the door. I heard his precious voice speaking so sweetly of mercy and of love, that I could refrain no longer. I entered. The Pharisee scowled upon me, and I was afraid that he would scowl upon me too; so vile was I, I dared not look him in the face, so I went behind him, sat down at his feet. It was heaven to be near him, though he spoke no word to me. But my heart was nigh to breaking and the tears flowed down my cheek in a flood-they fell upon his blessed feet, and I took the hair of my head and wiped them; and still he spurned me not; with passionate
sobs I kissed them and he spoke no word of AND "THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM."
anger-though as yet he spoke no word of comfort. But they that sat near him at meat scowled still more savagely; and then he spoke, and spoke of me! he said, 'This woman! Oh, how my heart held its breath to hear him! Was it to be a word of condemnation or pardon? My sobs and tears had not been unnoted by him. He turned and said, 'Woman, thy sins, which are many, are all
Dear Foster-in thus giving you this extract from Mr. Wale's sermon, which is published by Mr. Barcham, of Reading, I have done as you wished,-given you a long letter. You will wish with me, that this discourse be spread far and wide, and that it may be greatly owned of the Lord. May HE, who called you at the first, and thus far helped you, still sanctify your great afflic tion; and when before the throne you come, do, if you can, remember your old pastor, C. W. BANKS.
"We have seen his star."-Matthew ii. 2.
DEAR SIR-Travelling about the country as I generally am, I have had a favourable opportunity of seeing and hearing about the Comet, or rather Comets, for as most of your readers must be aware, there are two, one visible in the day-time,' and the other at