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through infirmity of the flesh, and the own; not borrowed, but given to us; for sinnership of thy natural standing thou those who(like the seven sons of Sceva) art worin Jacob, yet through the opera- thresh with a borrowed instrument, shall tion of the Spirit upon thy inner man, themselves flee both naked and wounded ! thou art one of the men of Israel, having And truly we have many of these vagaobtained mercy and power to wrestle bond Jews in our day, who turn exorwith the Lord, and to prevail and to be- cists, and seek to do the work of the come one of the princes of his kingdom; Lord without a gift and commission from and therefore to thee it belongs, and to him; and they say-We adjure you, thee be it spoken-Fear not, thou worm by Jesus Christ, whom Paul, or HuntJacob--for I will make thee a new, sharp ington, or Gill preacheth. But the man threshing instrument, and thou shalt of God will put these with the mountains thresh the mountains,' &c.
to be threshed, and count them for his Now, consider, beloved, and ye, my enemies; for such do their part to augfellow-soldiers of the cross; consider, I ment, and raise up that mountain, which, say, how great this promise is, and how at this moment seeks and threatens to vast the effects that shall follow. Look spread out its broad basis right over all and see if the Lord has not, in a mea- the privileges and ordinances of the sure, performed his word, when, at the saints! There are many mountains to first he made you to know and feel the be threshed, and to fly away; but there force and power of new covenant truth is one in particular, whose long and
when some unconditional promise was broad shadow, even now, darkens the thrown into thy soul, and thou tookest valley where Zion walks. 'Tis CONFU. it up, and the contents were written SION! 'Tis Babylon the great! And, upon thy heart! Was not this a sharp reader, does not this often darken the threshing instrument, having teeth, or windows of your mind, so that you canmouths, (as in the margin) by which not make a right judgment of your own thou didst bite and destroy thy foes, so case? Does not the gloom of confusion that they fled out of thy house naked and now, darken ministers and churches; so wounded, and were as the chaff of the that like persons walking in a thick fog, summer threshing floor ? And was not we can see but few beside ourselves, and the sensation thereof like an electric little, or nothing in the distance ? Is it shock-thy fetters dropped off, thy fear not so? What then are we to do? Take of death fled—and the love of God was heed that we be not deceived by false shed abroad in thy heart by the Holy appearances; and in the midst of the Ghost ? And did the Lord once give darkness mistake our friends for our foes, you this to take it from you again ? Was and our foes for our friends. Let us come it conditionally on thy part ? No. Thou more near, and examine them if the Lord mightest indeed have laid it by, or fallen has given them this instrument, and then asleep and forgotten it, but thou hast it if he has, say in despite of all their creaon thy premises still ; and it is the same ture weakness- These are my best strong and mighty instrument it ever friends - my kindred — my brethren ! was ; and none of its teeth are broken, | These are the inhabitants of Jerusalem, nor any of its mouths closed. It is still and there shall be my strength, in the mighty to conquer; so that with this in Lord of Hosts, their God ;' (Zech. xii. 5.) his hand every Caleb may cry-Let us And we will unite in one band, and go go up and possess the land; for we are against the enemies of the Lord, and as well able to overcome it'-and every a phalanx, wrestle with principalities and Paul may say 'I am not ashamed of powers, and spiritual wickednesses in the gospel of Christ, for it is the power high places; and we will wait in pati. of God unto salvation to erery one that ence for the day, when Babylon shall be believeth. Yes; thou man of God, in a threshing floor, and the time to thresh this thy might, thou mayest go forth her is come; even that day when Zerubconquering and to conquer, for nothing babel (dispersion of confusion) shall shall stand before thee, and every tongue go before us, and we do to Babylon as that shall rise in judgment, thou shalt she hath done to us. Yes; ' in patience condemn; for this is the heritage of the may we possess our souls,' and in holy servants of the Lord, and their righte confidence ask the questionWho art ousness is of me saith the Lord.
thou, O, great mountain ?' And then, But then, brethren, it must be our in the triumph of faith, say— Before Zerubbabel thou shalt beome a plain, and crown every one of the fallen family, he shall bring forth the head stone which are already crucified with Christ, thereof with shoutings, crying, grace If, to be reconciled to God in his own grace unto it.' For then shall the ever way of reconciling sinners, and an inlasting gospel thresh and break thee in ward, willing subscribing to whatever pieces, and thou shalt not be found. his hand and his council hath deter
Then, the city of confusion 'shall be mined to be done for the accomplishment broken down, and the feet of the poor, of salvation, according to his own will and the steps of the needy shall tread it and good pleasure, be any part of sound under foot; and the Lord alone, the true evidence of an endless interest in the Christ of God shall be exalted in that favour of God, I can venture to put in day. And of this thing hoped for, our my humble claim amongst the chosen faith is the substance; and therefore, in family. Though that be but one evi. the mean time may we still go forward dence, yet if it be really a good one, threshing in hope, looking for, and hast- | many more will appear upon the preing to, the coming of the day of God, mises of a gracious experience, although when the heavens, being on fire, shall be frequently so beclouded as scarcely to dissolved, and the elements shall melt be visible; but our God seeth through with fervent heat.
the dark cloud, when our keenest sight I am, brethren, your's W. C. P. is well nigh totally obscured; who judgBrenchley, July 28, 1847.
eth not as we see and feel, think and do,
but as he willeth ; passing the sweet A PEW
sentence of entire absolution, upon the Thoughts to an Outcast Israelite, eternally fixed principle and foundation
of his own unwearied love to us in Christ. LOOKING WITH HIS FACE TOWARDS ZION.
In the life, sufferings, and sacrificial
death of Jesus, the guilty sinner's surety DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER :- It is and friend, we see, in the most striking now sometime since we met face to face. light, the abominable nature of sin, the Since I saw you last I have passed through admirable love of God in Christ, the true some afflicting changes touching body estimate of redeemed souls, and the and mind. Although I have not been laid victory of our great Captain, all united by entirely from bodily exercise at home, to utter the voice of sovereign mercy to in my small way of business, nor from miserable sinners, from the throne of going to several places to supply, yet matchless grace. my bodily health and strength has been May that mercy melt us down; raise, much impaired; added to which, my and hold us up, and be a well-spring of mind, at times, has been deeply exer- consolation to us till the sorrows of the cised and tried. I find this time-state wilderness become exchanged for songs to be a thorny maze indeed. The con- of triumph in the heights of Zion above, flicts of the appointed way, together where nothing shall stifle our comforts, with the various mischiefs of a sorely cramp our spirits, nor disturb our comcorrupted heart, are a burden indeed, of munion and repose for ever, with Jesus, no small weight. Sins and sorrows stick and all the just in him. May this be too close together, and too close to me, our happy lot; now in good hope, and (I find) to be parted assunder, or shaken then in full fruition. Amen. off. I seem like one travelling through Things at -- are in a sad state a body of lively sparks of fire, with indeed. The appalling signs of the pockets filled with gunpowder ; liable to foretold falling away, seem to say we take fire, and explode every step I walk; we are now in the dregs of the latter really it appears as if sin was the defini- time. The night is darkening more and tion of a mortal man; for the most more over the prophets and churches of and best that can be said of the the New Testament; but it is to be very best of men, as men, is that feared the worst is not yet come. But that they lived—sinned and died. Then our God is in the heavens; he doeth oh, what a wonder of grace it is, that whatsoever pleaseth him ; and will overmillions of such should freely be for-rule the worst as well as the best for the given, perfectly sanctified in Jesus, and good of them that love him. Grace, for ever saved beyond the reach of sin, mercy, and truth be your shield. I am, death, and hell; for love divine will your's truly,
Some Important Words enlightened with the light of the living, that
I can stumble in the midst of these things ?' To the Heart which knoweth its own Bitterness. Well, your case is not peculiar to yourself, or
a solitary one, as the text plainly shows; and (Concluded from our last.)
your very stumbling is a proof that you live ; And what an amazing wonder that in the for, a dead thing, a dead image, however it midst of long waiting for a blessing, through
may have the outward appearance of life, the means of grace, and not finding the
may be stumbled at, but it never can stumblessing to come, you have still been kept
ble; and you stumble, not at Jesus Christ, walking in his ordinances, going and wait
nor at his truth ; but you stumble at, or ing at the posts of his doors, watching daily
through unbelief; and this stumbling someat his gates ; though ye have gone, and re
times brings you down on your knees with turned again and again, and have been like
a right earnest cry in your soul—'Lord, help the door on its hinges; and in your feelings
thou my unbelief!' that is, take this stum-have been like the barren heath, as to real,
bling block out of iny way. And the things spiritual enjoyment in the worship or service
which you stumble over are the works of the of God; and so, also, concerning a going to
flesh ; by which stumbling, you are often a throne of grace, you have been holpen
| brought down on your belly, with your mouth still to look again towards God's holy temple,
and eyes in the dust, before God, with the though, like poor Jonah, the weeds have cry of poor Jeremiah, (from blows you have been wrapped about your head, and you have
received by your fall,) 'My bowels, my felt as being in the very belly of hell: and bowels;' and with t
bowels ;' and with the groan of poor Paulour walking thus, though it be in the midst l'Oh, wretched man that I am! who shall of felt darkness, is vastly different to the
| deliver me from the body of this death ?' walking of the duty-faith, church, or chapel
And you know, in your experience, what it going pharisee, and dead doctrinal-professor,
| is to be in desolate places ; not merely talkwho is satisfied with a mere filling up his
| ing about them as being desolate places place, in the midst of a round of duties, and
| where God's people have been, and somewhat is called ' attending the means of grace;'
times get, but you are actually in desolate for there is no groping, or feeling after that
places; and now, like the pelican in the wilwhich they never found with them in their
derness, who once had a large stock of water walks and rounds. But you grope ; that is,
with her, but the saine is now expanded in you feel after the wall; even Christ for your
the dreary waste; or like the owl in the succour, and his promise for your guide,
desert, in the midst of felt darkness, in even as the blind man, who has no eyes,
the night of your soul trouble, you groan out would earnestly grope, and feel, with out
your sorrowful cry; or, like the beast out of stretched arms for the wall, on his being
the wood, where they have lived (as we are informed the house in which he was found,
told) for a long period without food, so you was on fire at both ends, in hopes, thereby,
roar out unto God, and after God, even as to find the door for an escape. "And in your
the bear roareth for food at such a season, groping, you grope as if you had no eyes ; ]
and at such a time; and as the bear bereaved finding, that neither the eye of sense can di
of her whelps, (or fruit) roars in the pursuit rect you, nor the eye of faith lead you, by
of the same, (Prov. xvii. 12,) so you find you reason of the darkness by which your soul must have food, and you must find fruit, and is surrounded ; and to talk to you now about you cannot be satisfied with pretty sounds, looking to Christ, and beholding Christ, and
nor duty rounds ; nor pleasing stories, nor rejoicing in Christ, in your present state,
anecdotes, nor antidotes of men's prescribwould be like whistling jigs to mill stones,
ing, can satisfy the longing desire of your or, rather, in Scripture language, like 'vine
soul. Realities! Realities ! Such as food gar to nitre, and singing songs to him who
for the soul, and fruit acceptable to God, and is of an heavy heart' But, what a blessing,
pleasant to the soul's desire, are the things
which you must find. And, now, if these "He sees us when we see not him, And always hears our cry.”
children are not in your sight, around you,
and in your feelings within you, like Rachel, Still wait, still walk, and still grope. poor you refuse to be comforted, while you mourn groping soul, and soon, in mercy, the Lord sore, like doves, having lost the company of will come down, and come in your way, and your mate, to whom you have been wedded will come into your heart. But,' say you. I in spiritual, conjugal ties, even a precious 'I stumble in my groping, and stumblé | Christ, your spiritual husband, who in your again, even in the midst of noon day : for. I feelings seems to have taken a long journey hear the glorious truths of the gospel de- of absence from you, and you sorrowfully clared from time to time, and am favoured | sighto move in the midst of the very sunshine of
"I miss the presence of my friend the glorious truths of the gospel of Christ, |
Like one whose comfort's gone.” and how can it be, it I am a child of God, And like weeping Mary, the cause of your
soul's grief is because the presence of the , me in his anger. But what saith the answers Lord is taken away, and you know not where of God ?-Job xxxv. 14, 15.) May he speak to find him, or where he will again find you ; | into thy soul – Although thou sayest, I while, as the hart panteth after the water shall not see him, yet judgment is before brooks, so panteth your soul after God, yea, himn; therefore trust thou in him.' But now, the living God, saying when shall I come because it is not so with thee, in thy present and appear before God, and again behold soul's experience, you say in your feelings, the light of his countenance, and rejoice he hath visited me in his anger; yet, know again in his smiles, and realise again the thou, he knoweth not anger for thee in great blessedness of communion with him, as the extremitics ; and though in a little wrath he effects of a living, vital, and eternal union hath hid his face from thee for a moment, with him; and feeling yourself to be sick of yet, with everlasting kindness, love, grace, love, that is love sick towards your heavenly and mercy will he gather thee; and that lover, husband, Lord, and God; you want judgment which he hath pronounced conkim again to stay you with flagons, and cerning you, (Jer. xxxi. 28, . And it shall comfort you with apples; and if you meet come to pass, that like as I have watched with those who are blessedly favoured to see over them to pluck up, and to break down, him, you could tell them, you charge them and to throw down, and to destroy, and to when he pays them a love visit, to tell him afflict, so will I watch over them to build you are sick of love, and you want him, and and to plant saith the Lord'), be awarded must have him, or else you must die; and unto you in the Lord's appointed time; and that you want again to feel his dear left hand that salvation which a Triune Jehovah has to be under your drooping head, and his placed in Zion for Israel. His glory shall almighty right hand to embrace your faint again burst forth as a lamp that burneth, in ing person, or soul; and say unto them, I the felt experience of your souls, and then tell him that I want him to give me another being again adorned with your tabrets, you of the sweet kisses of his dear mouth, know- shall again go forth in the dances of them ing that his love communicated to my soul that make merry, and ye shall have another is better than wine, having found in times song in the night, even as when an holy past, the roof of his mouth like the best assembly of joy is kept, and as one who wine unto me, and for me, his beloved ; and I goeth with a pipe into the house of the the dear words which the roof of his mouth, Lord, to praise his God as the God of his being struck with his heavenly tongue, has salvation, who shall yet make thee, poor sent forth into me, I have found that goeth soul, notwithstanding all thy present bitter. down sweetly, causing the lips of her who ness, to dwell in tabernacles with himself ; was asleep to speak.
and give you to say, again, ‘his tabernacle Well, dear souls, he never can have kindled is with men, for he dwelleth still with me, and such a fire as this in your souls, and caused maketh me to dwell with hiin ;' for, when such a burning desire as this to be felt with the enemy shall come in like a flood, the in thee, without intending to feed it, and Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard purposing to fulfil it; 'for the desire of the against him; and the Redeemer shall come righteous (that is the righteous desire of the himself unto poor Zion, and unto them who new man, after himself, and in this sense, it turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the is, that the desire of the righteous) is only Lord.' And concerning these things, there good. Prov. xi. 23. This desire shall be is a three-fold amen; for there is the amen granted, though now for a season, you are in of Jehovah in his Word, who hath said, "all heaviness, saying, “We look for judgment his promises are yea, and in Christ they are and for salvation, but it is far off from us,' amen ;' it shall be so. There is the amen of though you acknowledge it was never far off the poor writer, who can say, to the glory from God, for judgment and salvation have of Jehovah's faithfulness it has been so in his everlastingly been with him ; but you want own personal experience. And there is the that which is with God for you, and in your amen of the Holy Ghost in the heart which behalf, to be with you, and to be felt in you ; knoweth its own bitterness,' and whose case as poor David, who said- Let thy mercies the present communication may meet, and come also unto me, O Lord, (that I may be suitable, ' let it be so in the personal and call them experimentally, my mercies,) even individual experience of my soul.' And for thy salvation, (that I may soul-feelingly call which blessing and blessedness in the bethy salvation, my salvation,) according to thy half of such heart, prays and longs its wellword, (for thou hast promised it,) so shall I wisher, companion in tribulation, and serhave wherewith to answer him that reproach- vant for Christ's sake, in the bonds of the eth me, (in saying, now, where is thy God ?)| gospel. for I trust in thy word.' But thou sayest in
William SKELTON, S.S. the midst of still having to look for these
Baptist Parsonage, Aldringham, Suffolk, things, and because it is not so with thee as thou wouļdst have it to be,' he hath visited
| apprehension of being cast into hell for ever
and ever, To such poor souls as fear their convictions have
But, I wish to speak a word or two to my not been deep enough.
weak brother or sister, whose conviction has
been comparatively slight, and who is often “ Elect according to the foreknowledge of God cast down on this account. There are many the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto
of the dear children of God, who, because obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,"' 1 Pet, i, 2.
the Lord has not spoken to them by some
word from his blessed book, as in the case These thoughts are intended for the poor above mentioned, doubt as to whether it be soul who is discontented with his convictions the voice of God by which they have been because they are slight.
called. But, if they contemplate what The epistle in which these words occur, is language really is, they will find that they called general, because it was not written to may be spoken to in mute, or silent language. any particular church, but to the tried chris- | Now, language may be defined to be :—The tians, both of converted jews and gentiles, means by which thought is expressed. So who were scattered in the various countries that any thing that is used to express our named in the preceeding verse, by a violent thoughts or intention to others, is language, persecution. But it is also addressed to all | Look, for instance at what may be expressed God's elect; therefore it is for us to prove by the eyes, by a frown, or by a smile. our election, by some of its evidences, before By the silent command, or call, I mean we can properly decide that the epistle is where there has been an impression made on written to us. There are a few things in the soul, without any word being spoken or the words read, which have particularly ar- applied to it, which impression has gradurested my attention, which, I think, will, ally informed the soul as to its sinful state under the divine blessing, prove this election before God, and which produces certain efThe first thing is the obedience here named. fects by which this call is to be judged. It I here reverse the order of the words as they awakens the soul to its awful state by nature. stand in the sentence; but you must pardon The sinner sees he is a sinner before God, this.
whom he now fears as an angry judge; he That this is not the obedience of the moral is personally convinced of his sin; he sees law is evident, for that law was given to show that he has been fighting against him with to us God's holy requirements of us, and an high and outstretched arın ; that he has how extremely low we were sunkin sin-By been doing nothing but evil in his sight; the law is the knowledge of sin. The law that he has broken his holy law, insulted his entered, that the offence might abound.justice ; is under the condemnation of eternal Whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them punishment; and that unless he can find who are under the law, (mark !) that every some way of escape, he shall be lost for ever. mouth may be stopped, and all the world Under this painful conviction, he cries outmay become guilty before God.' That this •What must I do to be saved ? Oh, what must is not the obedience of either the moral or I do to be saved ?' And he cries also to ceremonial law, is further evident, if we con-| God in the bitterness of his soul— What sider that Christ has fulfilled the former, and wouldst thou have me to do ?' He is willing abolished the latter. Yes; he has obeyed to do anything could he but pacify his the moral law in every point for his people. wounded conscience, and appease that angry Then what obedience is it? It is the heart's God whom he knows he has offended so obedience of the command of Gọd to seek his awfully. He commences the attempt. He face. David exemplifies this where he says, shuns his old companions; he forsakes his • When the Lord said unto me, seek ye my sinful practices. He reads the Bible ; goes face, my heart said, thy face, 0, Lord, will to a place of worship; perhaps gets among I seek. Various ways has the Lord in the Arminians; sets about the work with all his bringing his people to a knowledge of the earnestness of his soul; he makes up themselves as sinners, and of himself as their his mind in the morning to live without sin Saviour. But there appears to me to be two through the day ; but, alas! before he has ways in which God generally performs this: advanced many hours into the day, he finds
The first I shall call an audible command himself overtaken by sin, he is cast down in or call. The second is a silent one. his soul, and begins to form stronger reso
With respect to what I have called an lutions for the next day, but all in vain. He audible command, I mean where the soul sees spots here, and spots there. Then view has been arrested by the power of God, with him in secret! his hands clasped ; binding some such a sentence as this, Prepare to himself under the most solemn vows he can meet thy God, which is as thunder in the soul, think of, before God, that he will abstain and as the flashing of mount Sinai, which from sin. But, ah! poor thing; he finds strikes the soul with the greatest horror and he breaks them all as fast as he makes them. alarm ; placing the man under the painful Here he sinks down in despair of ever getting