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trine of the gospel : it sets at nought besecching, entreating, and advising the sovereign, free, powerful, electing the dead to quicken their own souls, grace of God the Father in the great the blind to see, and an enemy to act of divine predestination to the become a friend. And when they adoption of sons; the covenant of have made a few proselytes to their eternal love and redemption ; and is opinion, some reformation having at once an awful insult upon the taken place, perhaps they have had a wisdom of God in the glorious plan dream, seen a vision, or heard a voice, of salvation, an insult upon the dig- these are received as converted charnity of the God-man Mediator, who acters. Such indeed are converted is most awfully represented by them, to a system, but this is not regeneras attempting to redeem the church ation, nor any part of the teachings by his own infinitely precious blood, of the Holy Ghost; for indeed Satan from sin, Satan, and the curse, yet has no objection to such conversions, is not able to accomplish it, because when reformation is thus mistaken man will not do his part towards his for regeneration, carnal ease for gosown salvation : quite forgetting that pel peace, and blind and daring presalvation is the joint work of the sumption for full assurance of faith. adorable Trinity, perfectly indepen. But the preacher that is so deceived dent of the creature. Nor is the goes on deceiving, until, if grace ever-adorable Spirit less insulted by prevent not, both must perish in their this God-dishonouring system; his own deceivings. And this is the work free, efficacious operations are abso that is going on in the present day. lutely denied, and the creature's arm It is to be feared that such converts is put in the place of his almighty are made two-fold more the children power. To support this system many of hell than they were before. А detached parts of the sacred scrip- devil is a devil still although whitetures are used and misapplied, which washed; and a man may be reformed, at first sight seem to favour their be devout in his way, and useful views, but upon investigation have in the church and in the world, yet nothing to do with the purpose in- at the same time hate, ridicule, and tended, to which these abusers of oppose the sacred truths of God's scripture appropriate them. What is word. Such is an awful proof that the whole system of arminianism, but he is still in nature's darkness, an the fleshly, corrupt passions of fallen enemy in his mind, puffed up with a men wrought upon to entertain a good vain conceit that he has certainly an opinion of themselves, that man is ability to keep the law, turn to God, not so far fallen, but that he possesses persevere in the way, and endure to a little power left to turn to God the end. But why talk of persevering when the creature chooses, or is in the way, when it is evident such willing to exert that power. Preachers persons were never in wisdom's way, vainly suppose they are in possession the way of holiness, the king's highof this ray of creature excellency, way, the strait and narrow way, the this they declare to others, and upon new and living way, the more excelthis ground they found their exhor- lent way: that they are able to pertations to the world, to the uncon- severe in their own way may be the verted, and perpetually order, com- case, and no doubt they will, until mand, and exhort them to do that grace effectually turn the heart. for themselves, which God the Holy To puff up the creature with this Ghost can only possibly effect for conceit of supposed power and ability, them. Hence those addresses to the many blessed parts of scripture have world, to sinners dead in trespasses been perverted, and the language of and sins, consists in wooing, cooing, the text is perhaps more frequently


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made use of than any other. Nor fallen, as depraved, as wicked, and as are professed arminians the only char- weak as it is wicked: to see the peracters that thus pervert the scriptures; versity and pride of the heart in opall our modern half-hearted Calvinists posing the truth, and vainly supposing adopt the same language to accom- the ability of the creature in any one plish the same purpose, and unitedly thing respecting salvation. argue from the text, that Christ Let us now consider the text in stands at the door and knocks at the following order. First, the speakevery man's heart, that he has given er. Secondly, the persons addressed. to every man an ability to open their Thirdly, the acts spoken of, Fourthhearts to him if they would, or else iy, the gracious promises made to it would be in vain to knock. This such in the text. method of treating this important The apostle had been favoured scripture is almost universal. Surely with a most wonderful view of the no poor creature that ever fell into great Head of the church in his exile, the hands of theives has been worse he had heard his voice, and had seen handled than this text. The conclu- his glory. This account of his masion which is generally made is this: jestic person we have in the first that as God knocks for entrance, chapter, who is described, in conjuncif the sinner will not open to him tion with the Father and the Holy and let him in, the Lord will go away, Ghost, as the fountain of grace and knock no more, and the sinner's day peace, the faithful Witness, the first of grace will be past for ever : hence begotten from the dead, the Prince the silly argument, suppose the king of the kings of the earth, the everwas to come and knock at your door, lasting Redeemer of his people, who who would not get up to let him in ? has loved them with an everlasting To which I answer, suppose all the love, and to whom they ascribe power, people were dead in the house, I and dominion, and glory for ever, should be glad to know who is to let as the Judge of quick and dead, and the king in. Such a perversion of as the First and the Last, the Althis scripture is an insult upon the mighty. How dreadfully blinded must omnisciency of Christ; as if he could that person be by the god of this not see man's awful state by nature, world, that dares to open his mouth or did not know what sort of treat- against the essential and eternal Godment he should meet with from his head of the Saviour; seeing that he creatures. It is an awful insult upon himself has declared he is the Alhis omnipotency, his almighty power; mighty. He that believeth not this as if he could not open the heart and record hath made him a liar, and the let himself in. It is an insult upon consequence, if grace prevent not, his priestly office; that although he will be truly awful to such deniers of bore their sins, it is all in vain without his Godhead: “For if ye believe not the creature's co-operation. It is an that I Am, ye shall die in sins." insult upon his prophetic office, and John was favoured with a further giving the lie to the God of truth, view of bim, not only by hearing his who has declared, “ Thy people shall voice, but seeing his most divine and be willing in the day of thy power. glorious person as the Head of his It is an insult upon his kingly office, church and Saviour of his body; as that although a kingdom is given to the Son of God and the Son of Man; him, yet he cannot take possession as the Ancient of Days; as the righof it until his subjects please to ad- teousness of his people;' as the faithmit him. Oh, that God the Holy ful Prophet, Priest, and King, with Ghost may condescend to open blind the golden girdle of his truth, righeyes, to see what human nature is as tenusness, and peace; as the adorable


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omniscient God : as having the go- and a variety of other scriptures. vernment of the church and the world which represent the state of the church upon his shoulders, with all his mi- in awful degeneracy. Most of the nistering servants in his care, power, other six churches spoken of had and direction, giving efficacy to his many faults, but this really was overword, and shining in the brilliant rays run with errors, pride, self-righteousof his own glorious perfections, and ness, boasting, and awful departures upon all who fear his name ; as the from God: this is the sad state of First and the Last in the eternity of the church now. But in this epistle his person ; as the ever-living Re- our most compassionate Redeemer deemer, Mediator, and Intercessor; reproves, invites, and encourages the as having authority over men and Lord's people, and gives notice to devils, heaven, earth, death and hell; them of his speedy appearance, which and as the ever-blessed Amen. Un appears to be intimated in the aboveder some of these divine characters mentioned parable :

“ At midnight he had addressed six of the churches; there was a cry made, Behold, the and to the seventh he calls himself Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to the Amen, the Faithful and True meet him; then the wise arose, and Witness, the beginning of the crea- trimmed their lamps :” which is extion of God. These glorious names plained in this epistle to the Laodican only belong to Christ : in the first ceans, and which consists in a fresh is set forth his eternal Godhead, and knowledge of Christ; he is the gold in the last two his person as God-Man tried in the fire. An apprehension of Mediator, to whom be glory through- justification in his imputed righteousout all ages, amen.

ness, and a manifestation of covenant Secondly, let us notice the persons love, is the soul's adorning, and here addressed. For want of attention to we shall be safe; this is our preparthe particular persons, characters, ation for heaven, our readiness to and churches addressed in the word meet the Bridegroom, and to the of God, arises so many sad mistakes, Lord we are invited and encouraged to and evinces great ignorance on the come for it, to part with all that we part of those who attempt to be may most divinely enjoy it. Now leaders, but are more ignorant, and the promise is very blessed to this act very differently to any servant church : If any man hear my voice, or postman sent with letters, who and


the door, I will come in to certainly will look to whom the letters him, and sup with him, and he with he is entrusted with belong, to whom But it is a solemn truth, even they are directed. But our scribes with the Lord's professing people, take no notice of these important that all the alarms, calls, judgments, points, and deliver wrong letters, be- mercies, soothings, threatenings, and cause they cannot discern to whom invitations, are of no avail without they are directed. This is the case power from on high. They can have in handling this very interesting text. no more effect upon us than Lot's It was an address sent to the church, address to his sons, “ Up, get you not to the world, but to the profes- out, for the Lord will destroy the sing church of God. And if, as is city;" bat seemed to them as one generally supposed, the seven churches that mocked, and they laid down of Asia were figurative of the seven again and perished in the flames. Or states of the church, the church of like Jonah, though a good man and Laodicea must represent the sad state a prophet of the Lord, when flying of the church at that period. And from his work, and the tremendous this appears, too, evident from the

storm at sea was so alarming, that it parable of the wise and foolish virgins, caused the mad mariners, the swearing


sailors, to cry every one to his God; tered into his soul, and the door of yet neither the voice of conscience, his lips was opened : « Behold he nor the raging wind, the roaring sea, prayeth.” This is also true in the the groanings and tossings of the experience of all God's children in ship, the yelling and crying out of early conversion, and in every after the sailors, could awake him. This renewal of the work of grace upon shews the necessity of an almighty the heart. This is very strikingly power upon the heart, to accompany seen in the fifth chapter of the Song the voice of Christ, to make it effec- of Solomon: the church is there retual.

presented as in this epistle to Laodicea, Hearing this voice, therefore, must a deep sleep had seized her, she was imply the opening of the eyes to see, idle, inactive, dull, careless, lukewarm; it must include the quickening power but her kind Saviour presents himself of the Spirit to feel. Hearing this to her in his infinite condescension, voice is both light and life entering boundless love, deep sorrows, and into the soul; and where danger is covenant blessings, saying, “ Open discovered, and a sense of need felt, to me.” This opening is not the there is always a cry put into the opening of the heart to let Christ in; heart: and this is the Lord's doings but it is his command, as elsewhere alone, in this we have no hand. The expressed : • Call upon me; open Lord opened Lydia's heart, and must thy mouth wide and I will fill it. also open all the hearts of his people Call upon me; I will shew thee great in the same manner, and by the same and mighty things which thou knowest power, or else he will never gain any not.” Christ presenting himself to admittance there. But then it is her, warning, calling, inviting, were said, If any open the door :” true, all of no avail, until power attended this door is not the heart, that is en. it: hence she confesses, “ My Betirely the province of the Holy Ghost, loved put in his hand by the hole of as the divine Quickener and Illumi. the door.” Here was secret almighty nator of his people, but is the door power felt, and the effects of the lips. Here lies the mistake blessed; and as her heart was moved, which so many make in preaching on opened by the Lord, so she opened this text, and misapplying it. They her mouth to the Lord. Thus, as suppose it is the door of the heart, Solomon says, : The heart of the but an almighty power must open wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth that; and as the heart is opened by learning to his lips;" the one is the his power, so the door of our lips is blessed effect of the other. And opened in confession, in prayer, in here the call is mutual: Christ calls praise, in inviting the dear Redeemer us, and his biddings are his enablings; i to the affections, and to be favoured and as the power is felt we call on with communion and fellowship with him, Christ opens to us his heart, and him. This is the case with every we by his power open our lips to soul that is born of God, as we may him. He feasts upon the graces of see in Paul's conversion; no doubt his own Spirit in the hearts of his the apostle had many warnings against saints, and they seeing his beauty his cruel persecutions of the saints, and glory feast upon him; and this many without and

more within shall be our feast for ever. Christ These the Saviour when he met him will feast his eyes and heart upon in the way told him of: It is hard for his people, and they will for ever feast thee, with thy naked heel, to kick their ravished souls on his excellenagainst prickly briars and thorns, or cies. Even in this world they feast points of swords and spears. The upon him, when the soul is divinely Lord came to him, light and life en- and sensibly quickened; he is himself


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W. C.

the feast,

and he that eateth me, the Holy Spirit, watching his apeven he shall live by me.” Ilis ever- proach, while the mouth in sweet lasting love; his glorious but myste- unison with the heart exclaims, Come rious person; his covenant engage Lord Jesus, come quickly,” Amen. ments, wonderful incarnation, meritorious obedience, and unparallelled Tirough all this gloomy vale below;

Dear Lamb, still after thee I'd go, sufferings; his victories, triumphs, On, lead me on my heavenly road, grace, condescension, and faithful- Prepar'd to meet th’ eternal God. ness: this is a spiritual feast, it is a feast for the soul; and that believer Though daily tempted, tossed, and tried,

In thy dear arms I'd still abide ; that finds it so upon earth, will be there sweetly muse thy healing blood, fed with his glories for ever and ever. And feel prepared to meet my God, The Lamb in the midst of the throne shall feed and lead them to

If foes surround, and friends depart,

Anl inward evils swell my heart; fountains of living waters :” this is Freely I'd plunge in thy rich blood, called supping with each other. And I'm prepar’d to meet my God. The dear Saviour gives many

We warnings of his approach.

lf growing sorrows mark my way,

And here I find but little day; knock with the hand, but Christ

Yet, as I 'm found at thy dear feet, with the voice; he pushes back the I'm still prepared my God to meet. bolt of unbelief and enters the soul. This is the work of God the Spirit; Creating new alarming fears ;

And if pale death to me appears, and as a Spirit of power and prayer My last appeal is Calvary's blood, the mouth is opened to him, we en- And I 'm prepared to meet my God. treat, call, beseech, invite him to the

Westminster. soul, as an effect of his first call to us. When he intends to reveal himself to a poor sinner as his God and

LETTER FROM REV. SAMUEL TURNER, Saviour, his Surety, his righteousness, OF SUNDERLAND, TO A FRIEND AT his atoning sacrifice, his salvation and joy; he generally gives him some signs of his approach, although the Being a Reply to J. M's Letter published in

our December number. poor sinner may not so well understand them as those who have already To the hidden Hebrew, who has experienced them. Earnest desires, crept out of his hole, be grace, intense breathings, hungerings and mercy, and peace from God our thirstings after him, deep concern, Father, and from the Lord Jesus many fears, temptations and unbelief Christ, our hope and help, our laying like a load on the mind, Satan Saviour, and our all in all. busy, knowing perhaps that he hath I received your glad tidings of but a short time. Thus the Lord good things in due course ; but if hath his way in the whirlwind and in you had not made an excuse for not the storm. And as these clouds are writing before, which excuse I well but the dust of his feet, proclaiming understand, and cannot but accept, his approach, the Lord will come by I should have scolded you for so long his messenger death to receive us to eating your morsel alone, and not himself (John xiv. 3). For many inviting your poor father to the bansigns or knocks, as warnings of his quet. The Holy Ghost saith, " Go approach, see Eccles. xii. Oh, may thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and the Lord's people be filled with holy drink thy wine with a merry heart ; longings and fervent desires for his for God now accepteth thy works.” coming, clothed in his righteousness, And thou hast been feasting on the cleansed by his blood, sanctified by fatted calf; and the bread of eternal

January, 1839.)



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