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" night,' the former is visible by means of the Many are the conjectures in reference to
astronomer's glass' only. Now of the nature the star that appeared to the wise men,' and design of Comets, I am unacquainted. I and conducted the Magi to the place of our have, however, heard many opinions advanced, Saviour's birth. Some authors suppose that some of which I will briefly state,
it was a 'new star,' purposely created to I-Some think, and I believe Newton is usher in our Saviour's birth, and is therefore, among the number, that Comets are sent to re- called his star; it being a sign of his birth and plenish the stars,' to supply their fading lusa commemoration of his incarnation; this is tre and beauty, to replenish their light and also thought to be the st which Virgil calls glory which they have spent in flooding our Cæsaries Astrium. One thing, however, is world with the sublime grandeur of star certain, Christ is the New Star,' of the light.' Be this as it may, one thing we New Covenant,' the Mediator of the New know, Christ, our bright and morning star," i Testament, his blood has opened up a new and replenishes the hearts of his people with grace, living way into the holiest which he has con. and supplies them with light and lustre.
secrated for us. In the second place, others II—Some there are who think that Comets think that this star was nothing more nor are sent to gather up the spirits of the de nothing less than the sight or glory which parted,' they look upon them as a kind of hem's plains, at the time of our Saviour's
shone round about the shepherds of Bethlevehicle or carriage, in which souls are con birth. (Luke ii. 2) veyed to heaven.
Thus Lightfoot thinks
that this glory, at so great a distance, apIII-Others I find look upon Comets as peared as a star to the wise men in the east. signs, but what they are signs of, few rist is sometimes seen from afar accorpretend to say; some however look upon ding to the ancient prediction. them as signs of something very solemn, as Thirdly, some think it was a "comet,' which dark omens of something more awful, terrible, the wise men saw, and some are of an opinion and alarming than mortals ever heard of; that its appearance was ' natural,' while others others, I find look upon them as more favour. think that it appeared preternaturally to por. able signs, and hope that Revivals in religion tend the birth or death of some illustrious and national peace and prosperity may fol persons. And, truly, our Lord's Person as well low; while some few look upon the present as Birth, is illustrious in his work of mediacomet as indicative of a 'sharp winter.'
tion he certainly is famous, eminent, distinIV-I find that others look upon Comets as guished, and celebrated; for unto us a child sent to purify the air of its noxious gases; is born, unto us a son is given : and the gothat comets are to the wrial heavens, what verment shall be upon his shou!der : and his the burning mountains, or Volcanos are to the name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, bowels of the earth, a kind of “Scape Valve,' the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the or safety valve ; they look upon the nucleus Prince of Peace.' Fourthly, some assert that of the comet as a dense ball of fire travelling it was an angel in a luminous body like a star; in its destined course not yet fully discovered, they come to this conclusion because the star the tail of which is only the burning gases appeared to be rational and intelligent, stopattracted by the nebulous body, or travelling ping and going forward ; appearing and disball of fire, whose mighty magnectic influence appearing, so as to direct the Magi to the place has drawn' to itself surrounding impurity to where our Saviour could be found. This reminds consume.
me of the angel of Jehovah's presence, who V-Lastly, some look upon Comets as 'elec- is with his people in all their afflictions and tric lights,' and suppose them to be void of saves them, (Isu.lxiii
. 9). Again, fifthly, some substance, or at least of any dense body, have said that it was 'the Holy Ghost, who something like the Ignisfatuus,' of summer appeared to the wise men in the form of a star, nights, a jack-a-lantern above our heads; the the same as he appeared at the immersion of will-with-the-wisp of the air. Nevertheless Jesus under the form of a 'Dove. Well, we some have told us that comets in their number need the Holy Ghost; also his light, his quickexceed all other planetary bodies, except that others, Calmet for instance, will have it,
enings, direction and unction. Lastly, I find Aerolites:' that they possess the smallest mass; and occupy the largest space of any bodies ir that it was a Meteor, a fiery inflamed Meteor, the solar regions; whether they are self-lumin. which appeared miraculously and extraordious or derive their light from the sun seems to nary in the middle region of the air, and it was be a doubtful point. Comets again present a taken by them for the star so long foretold by striking contrast. Biela’s comet, for instance, Balaam, Numb. xxiv. 17. is very small, and has no tail; while the one
Now, Mr. Editor, I think I will break off, observed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1680, had a
as enough has been said for one month's issue tail calculated to be sixty millions of miles in of your periodical; and if this should appear in length, and the comet of 1744 had six tails. your next month's issue, I will, God willing,
resume the subject again next month, and take Many other allusions to comets might be my motto 'the Star of Bethlehem,' and what made, and interesting facts recorded, but I little matter I have to give, I will give in the judge, Mr. Editor, you would think them not form of a short sermon, on the sentence at adapted for your columns. So I turn my pen the head of this paper. I will
, therefore, sign to write of the Eastern Star. We bave seen
A TRAVELLER. Donali's comet. Let us now turn our atten. tion to the Star of Bethlehem,' and here
(To be continued.) again conflicting opinions perplex'us.
EPISTLES TO THEOPHILUS.
John was, in God's truth, as all good men now are, too high to be acceptable to a deluded world; but when John was in the Isle of Patmos, the Lord said to him, come up
higher. So that if John were high before My good THEOPHILUS, I now propose to he went to the Isle of Patmos, he was higher write a few letters to you upon the Seven still when he arrived there, and he found Seals,' we read of in Revelations 5th chap. this increase of altitude ; this additional ter ; but as this letter will be merely intro- ascent up the sides of Mount Zion; this nearer ductory, I will begin with the 4th chapter of approach to the house not made with bands, Revelation.
be found it good to be thus high ; ' for imAnd the first thing we here meet with, is, mediately, saith he, ‘I was in the Spirit! one of the best of all things, a door opened in And so by elevation and transformation, he heaven : all earthly doors must with us very was well
fitted for divine revelations. They soon close, and therefore the one thing need would, while he was thus placed, be sure to ful is a door opened in heaven ; let this door have their full weight with him; whereas, of heaven be shut, and all hope is gone, and keep him down amidst a routine of mere forwe are left in black and eternal despair,
malities, eternal realities may then pass by The first entrance of the Israelites upon unheeded; but let him be taken up somethe promised land, is called the door of hope. what toward the third heavens, then mortalHosea ii. 15. Now the promise of God in ity, and all its sins and cares, are swallowed Christ Jesus is our 'door of hope;' whatever up of life. Thus, then, in the very opening promise appears suited to us is our door of of this fourth chapter, you bave these hope ;' not but that all the promises are suit- three things : the door opened in heaven; ed to us; but we are at different times in John brought up to that door; and the different states of experience, and circum- transforming power of the Lord's presence. stances ; and so there are promises suited to Immediately I was in the spirit. Nor had all our possible necessities, and these are John any hand in opening this door, it was our door of hope. That is-we feeling our
opened for him, and to him, but not by bim. need of these promises, and being persuaded He looked !- ab, where did he look? Not to of them, we by them begin to have hope ; earth—for, alas! all was gloom, desolation, and though we see these promises, (as to their and anguish there ; but he looked unto the fulfilment) as yet afar off, yet they are unto Lord, and saw a door opened in heaven. us a door of hope.'
And so it is, my good Theophilus, your Then there is the door of salvation : "by me, happylot to see that by the blood of Jesus a (saith the Lord,) 'if any man enter in, he door is opened in heaven; and the truth, shall be saved.' Thus, then, the door of and faith therein, are the way thereto. hope, and the door of salvation, bring us to Now you will see that at the end of this the door of heaven; and this door open- 4th chapter, that the purpose of God in the ed in heaven is by the atonement of creation of the world, is the song of adoraChrist reaching to all the demands of law tion : 'thou hast created all things; and for and justice; and he therefore entered heaven thy pleasure they are, and were created.' by his own blood; and so we have boldness And, thus, before they pass on to salvation to enter into the holy of holies by the blood matters, they recognize the right of the of Jesus ; and so a door is opened in heaven. blessed' God in the first creation; and there And a door opened in heaven is a door of re- is great propriety in this, because we need velation from heaven, as well as a door of the Lord as a God of Providence; and as entrance into heaven. And hence, said the all these things were by and for the Divine voice to John, come up hither, and I will Word, in whom is all Jehovah's Pleasure : shew thee things which must be hereafter.' 50 — our God, having full right in the
Here you see, that just where men dishon- creation, in the world, and all things pertainored John, just there the Lord honored him: ing thereto, we may look with assurance to men cast him out, but the Lord received him; him for the supply of our temporal, as well men cast him down, but the Lord lifted him as for our eternal needs. The throne thereup; men hated him, but the Lord loved fore of God is a throne of government to both him; man would have destroyed him, but worlds: bence, to denote his possession and the Lord preserved him ; man did all he command of riches, his appearance is as could to put him to silence, but the Lord hath a jasper and sardine stone.
This, then, I made him speak so as to be heard to the end say, means not only the glory of his appearof the world, and to earth's remotest bounds ; ance, but indicates the riches he has at com. men would have cast him down to hell, but mand; and, therefore, it is that Christ is the Lord lifted him up to heaven; men se- that gift, which is as a precious stone in the parated bim from their company, but the eyes of him that hath it; and withersoever Lord took him into his highest counsels, and it turneth it prospereth. The city of God into his bosom secrets.
also, is adorned with precious stones; and
Israel was represented on the High Priests these four and twenty orders, and four and breastplate by precious stones ; so that alto- twenty chief priests, was one who was called gether, it would seem to be this, that as pre- the high priest ; the high priest it was who cious stones are distinct from the common was specially a type of the Great High Priest pebble, so the people of God, the city of God, of our profession, Christ Jesus. And as these and God in covenant, all stand out in distinc. Elders are clothed in white raiment, and have tion, glory, and richness, from everything on their heads crowns of gold, so shall all the else ; for who is like unto our God?' and people of God be holiness unto the Lord,' what city is like unto the city of God? and and be crowned with glory, called a crown of what people is like unto the people of God? gold because of its purity, preciousness, and
This throne is said to be set in heaven.' beauty. The scene, you will see, is taken from the And as justice and judgement are the temple; and perhaps partly also from the habitation of his throne, so there are two tabernacle in the wilderness. This is to shew orders of truth proceeding from this throne; to us, that as the tabernacle and temple had the one, that of mercy; the other that of special reference to the people of God, so the threatenings to the adversaries ; hence these throne here will mean what was there called threatenings are called lightenings, thunderthe mercy seat ;' and, hence, to prove this, ings, and voices. And as there were seven there is a rainbow round about the throne, lamps in the Tabernacle, to give light in the in sight, like unto an emerald ; thus shewing, holy place, so there is a true tabernacle not only that he is the God of peace; but which God pitched, and not man; and here also that it shall be seen that he is the God in the church the Holy Spirit dwells in all the of peace; it shall be seen that Jesus hath fulness of his ministrations; but mind, it made peace by the blood of his cross. was before the throne that these seven lamps
As the Lord's covenant of seed time and were placed ; and so the saving illuminations harvest was positive ; 80 as we see (Isa. liv.) is of the Holy Spirit are sure to lead the soul the covenant of mercy and peace; and as the to a throne of grace. And as there was a rainbow is above the reach of, and indepen. brazen sea before the temple, as a type no dent of men, so it was not in the power of | doubt of the gospel ; so here it is called, man to make peace with God: Christ alone because of its clearness, a sea of glass; and as could ; and so it is not in the power of man Aaron and his sons were to be washed at the to break that peace which Christ hath made; door of the Tabernacle, so we have here it stands independant of man, and into this indicated the washing of regeneration. And as heavenly reconciliation and peace you are after the first washing Aaron and his song brought. This rainbow is the triumphal arch were, with this clear crystal water, to wash under which you will have an abundant en- their hands and feet, when they went in to trance into the everlasting kingdom' of our serve in the holy things, so we, after the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
washing of regeneration, need renewing again You see that neither the Lord nor the and again ; for there is not a just man upon throne is solitary, here are a people belonging the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not; thereto; 'four and twenty Elders' are and these renewings are those mercies of the intended as secondary representatives of the Lord which keep us from being consumed. people of God. Christ is the primary, and Thus then, my good Theophilus, you have also the ultimate representative of the people here a door opened in heaven; access thereto; of God. These Elders, then, I say, are a kind transformation thereby; you have here a of secondary representatives of the people of throne of grace, a God rich in mercy ; also a God; and if the number, twenty-four, allude rainbow token of peace, brotherly represen. to the twelve Patriarchs of the Old Testa- tatives; the Holy Spirit, and the fulness of ment, and to the twelve Apostles of the New his Ministrations ; and a gospel sea clear as Testament, then these four and twenty Elders crystal ; and as far as I can at all see my will represent the Old and the New Testament way clear, I hope to go on as your humble people of God. If this be the allusion, then Servant in Cbrist, though but we must take the blessing of Duet. 33rd, and
A LITTLE ONE. the Apostolic testimonies
of the New Testament to explain the sense in which the four and twenty Elders represent the people of God. Or, as David divided the Levitical service into AUSTRALIA.-Beside the letters given in four and twenty orders, and that each order another part of this number, we have just rehad its chief priest; then here would be four and twenty chief priests, and these would ceived one good spiritual letter from our represent the people of God in their sacrificial brother John Bunyan M'Cure, of Geelong; consecration to God. Whichever be the with some excellent gospel verses. Also, a allusion here, whether to the twelve Patriarchs packet from Mr. Henry Dowling, of Tasmania ; and twelve Apostles, or to the four and twenty
We chief priests, the meaning is substantially and an epistle from North Adelaide. the same; just reminding you that over shall give them early.
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS. dinary narratire is still useful, and circulating
in all directions. It is published at our Office,
182, Dover Road. Price Twopence. “The Comforter ; or, the Holy Spirit in His “ The Gathering Tempest. Puseyism, and Glorious Person and Gracious Work." Lon- the Confessional Doomed ; or, St. Barnabas don : Darton and Co., Holborn Hill. (525 pp. unmasked by its own Priests." London : 5s.)—Those two excellent volumes, God is James Brown, 26, Eccleston Street, Chester Love,' and ' A Brother Born for Adversity,' Square. There is a great noise now about the have, for some time, been before the Christian confessional; and the Puseyites. But cannot family, in this, and other parts of the civilized our readers see that much worse things than world. No books, on themes so grand, on these are obtaining presidency in our professed Characters so great and holy, have been more Protestant and Nonconformist Churches ? Ah! deservedly popular. They are becoming there is a storm gathering : but, as yet, every standard works of the present age. With storm has, in the Spirit's hands, driven us much pleasure, we announce a third volume closer under the wings of the Mercy Seat; by the same Author- (on the 'Glorious Per, and, therefore, with Luther we hope to sing, sonality and Gracious Work' of the Third God is our refuge and strength; a very prePerson in the ever adorable Trinity,) is now in sent help in trouble; therefore, will not we the hands of the Publishers; and we under- fear.” stand large orders for this volume are already "A Letter to India, descriptive of True Reli. given by the leading houses in the publishing gion.” London : Partridge and Co. This is market. This is a good sign. It gives us hope a penny pamphlet written by, our respected that there are yet thousands who desire to brother Joseph Flory, late minister of Somer. honour the Holy Spirit, even as they honour sham Baptist Chapel. Good old Benjamin the Father and the Son. Twelve chapters, Flory has been known in the land for many each on distinct Characters, Offices, and Divine years, as a stern, determined, and unflinching Operations, are here given. Our Ministers, defender of the gospel of the New Covenant. and all teachers of the Truth, must certainly We have dearly loved good old Benjamin: but read this volume. It is the time for such a he is now sinking into great age and weakness. book, and the author has been enabled to do This Joseph, his son, is a true chip of the old his work faithfully. We believe, in its oppor- block; a happy lover of Christ and His cause; tune advent, and in its soul-enriching con. and is now waiting for a call from his Master tents, the hand of the Lord has been made to be billetted in the ministry where he shall bare for Zion's good. We cannot fully enter please to appoint. into details this month,
Praying Johnny; or, the Life and La“ The Backwood's Preacher.”—This is a re- bours of John Oxtoby. By Harvey Leigh." print of an American volume; published by London : T. King, Sutton-street. This little A. Heylin, 28, Paternoster Row. We have book will give you a fair idea of a minister's commenced a paper from it, entitled 'Peter the life in some of the low and dark corners of Pioneer,' for next month ; Peter Cartwright the land. The editor says, “John Oxtoby was was a lion-like preacher for more than fifty to an extraordinary degree, a successful min. years; and although he has smitten us poor ister of the gospel.' We intend to criticise Baptists rather severely, still, we shall gather · Praying Johnny' rather closely in another from him all the good we can : from his life, number. preachers may see what it is to endure hard. “Instauration : A Poem." By R. S. D.
London : Partridge & Co. There is great “ Brief History of the Baptist Church in power of mind evinced in the composition of Little Wild Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. this poem. To highly intellectual spirits it From 1691 to 1858; &c. By Christopher will be a kind of sweet desert. Woollacott. London: Houlston & Wright. “ The Christian's Companion; or, Christ, There is scarcely a religious writer in these the Believer's Delight.” By John Bloomfield, days, that can vie with Christopher Woolla. Minister of the Gospel, at Salem Chapel, Soho. coit in 'Naratives. He has the excellent London : Nichols & Son, Milton Steam Press, genius of working up all his material to good Strand. In this little volume our highly account: this is patent in all reading circles ; favored brother talks of Jesus our Saviour, to and his' Prodigal Pardoned ; or, the Soldier's those who are seeking for a knowledge of in. History;' a new tract just issued by the Bap- terest in him, in faithful, intelligent, and tist Tract Society, is another witness that affectionate terms. All who know Jobn Narratives in the hands of Christopher Wooll. Bloomfield—and they are not few-know his acott, are delightfully interesting. The bistory happy theme is The Priesthood of Christ.' of Little Wild Street, is a review of the Bap- In this volume you have John Bloomfield at tist Interest in London, for nearly two hun; home, and in much comfort and confidence dred years. It is a good six-pepny work; and opening up the beauties and glories of the we know every thinking person in Christendom MASTER he so dearly loves. As an author we will enjoy its perusal.
sincerely wish him good speed. “ Thomas Guy-his Early Days: his Life "The Edinburgh Street Preacher." Beamong the Gipsies : and his Conversion to ing the Extraordinary Life, Conversion and God." Written by Himself. To which is Death of Robert Flockhart. London: Parappended, His Happy and Sudden Death-tridge & Co. An interesting epitome of this with Preface and Remarks by Charles Waters extraordinary man's life in 16 closely printed Banks. We are thankful to find this extraor. pages for One Penny !
THE WONDERFUL DEALINGS OF GOD AS MANIFESTED TO ONE OF THE MOST UNWORTHY OF AIS CHILDREN.
* As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; yea, and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.'-Isaiah lxvi. 13. This striking passage has. I doubt not, been darkness, to the glorious light and liberty of the comfort of many an afflicted child of God, the gospel. I was changed. "Old things had when cast down by reason of his troubles; and passed away: all things were become new.' has proved a firm stronghold to him by the Christ was nowexhibited to my wondering eyes blessing of the Holy Spirit, against the face in altogether a new light, as the only but allof the enemy. It is my intention to illustrate sufficient way of salvation; as the Person by briefly, in the following narrative, as far as whom alone men must and can be saved. My lies in my power, the above sweet portion Bible too, now became endeared to my heart, from the · Faithful Promiser,' by setting be- and I wondered why I had not discovered its fore my readers his gentle dealings with me, value and beauty before : but as St. Paul says, the most unworthy of his creatures; and I hope The carnal mind is enmity against God. that many of his tried ones who have long 'He hath hid these things from the wise and been tossed in the strong furnace of affliction, prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes. may by his help obtain the like precious faith The natural man receiveth not the things of in this promise, which has in time past been the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness extended to me.
unto him; neither can be know them, beIt is with feelings of deep thankfulness to cause they are spiritually discerned. my heavenly Father, for his unspeakable After some months hard struggling with mercies, shewn so continually towards me, the doubts and fears, suggested by the enemy that I have written the present narrative of of souls, I was at length enabled to make a my past life ; and in doing this, I have at public profession of my attachment to his tempted to illustrate by it, that there is indeed name, in the ordinance ot believer's baptism. one above who careth for the righteous, and I was so strengthened after this by the Holy will ever support them by the arm of his Spirit, that I walked in the good old way for power, when in their deepest distress. I hum- some years; until at length, in the year 1839, bly think that after the perusal of my short it pleased the dear Lord to lay me upon, a sketch, the God-fearing reader will be led to bed of affliction. Satan was now permitted to exclaim with David and myself—' 0 that men barass me to such a degree, that I was indeed would praise the Lord for his goodness, and troubled on every side : persecuted, but not for his wonderful works to the children of forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.' men. Let them exalt him also in the
In the midst of my sickness, I was removed gation of the people, and praise him in the under the good hand of my Heavenly Father assembly of the elders.' Ps. cvii. 31 ,43. to Great Marlow, a town in Buckinghamshire,
I was early brought up to attend a Sabbath to which place I was still followed by satanic school; and while there I had some slight power. convictions that I was a sinner in the sight of Here on one occasion as I lay on my sick God. During this period of my life I was bed in the midnight hour, it was first suggesoften preserved from many outward sins, by ted to me by the great adversary, to commit the remembrance of tbose solemn words suicide ; telling me, I was not fit any longer • Thou God seest me.'. Afterwards, when in to live. This suggestion was uppermost in riper years, I attended the ministry of J. H. my mind for many months; during which Hinton, pastor of the Baptist church, then time, my thoughts were continually running assembling in Hosier-street, Reading, and upon the manner in which it might best be there my convictions were deepened. Through accomplished. But the Lord, who knoweth the providence of God, I was next led to take how to succour them that are tempted, inasup my abode in the Borough, London, where I much as he was himself tried by the enemy was priviledged to hear the gospel under Dr. when on earth, in his goodness preserved me, Ripon, then of Tooley-street; at which place and overturned Satan's favourite scheme. By I was still further convinced that I was a this time, I was considerably recovered from lost sinner, and must inevitably perish, unless my bodily affliction, but my soul was still I was washed in the precious blood of Christ. deeply tempest tossed, seeking rest but finding About a year after, I was led again by the none. During this period, I attended the overuling hand of God, to Reading; where ministry of the Rev. T. Styles, but still found I once more sat under J. H. Hinton. I was no relief to my desponding soul. at this time twenty-three years of age. One At length, after having been subjected by Sabbath afternoon, I was aroused while sit- the dear Master, to the fearful influences of ting in the chapel, from my previous spiri- satanic power, for the space of eight months, tual lethargy, by hearing a striking sermon, my release was at hand. preached by Mr. H. from those awakening Having attended a Thursday evening lecwords, Luke xiii. 3. 'Except ye repent, ye ture, from the words, Col. ii. 2, “That their shall all likewise perish. After hearing these hearts might be comforted;' the words which words, I was, by the Holy Spirit, turned from I had heard, made a deop impression on my