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A Letter addressed to Frederick C. Dissassway. And besides all this it is said - The heart By James Osbourn.
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' (Jer. xvii. 9.) And as this is the
true state of the case and condition of man, MY VERY DEAR SIR :-Your letter came he surely can have nothing to pride himself in, safe to hand; and although you have said or to boast of; and yet there is a propensity enough to convince me of there being some in him to glory in his own doing powers ; good thing in you towards the Lord God of and this very propensity of his grows out Israel, yet I am led to wonder you should of, or is, indeed, a part of depraved nature ; have been so very brief in the relation of the and is one strong proof of his being dework of grace on your soul; for, to me, it praved. is pretty evident from the little you have said This sad degenerate state of man, by naabout this matter, that there must be many ture, is very strikingly exemplified in the valuable traces, and striking marks of the conduct and course which is pursued by the Spirit of grace having worked upon your soul whole human family, while in nature's darkin a saving way; and to say no more about ness; and in myself, as well as in other perthem when so fair an opportunity was opened sons, it was exemplified to such great clearbefore you, looks to me like holding back ness, that the fact was indisputable. And, more than is meet in a case of this nature. I even to this day, if in me there are to be
The good work of grace wrought in the found any pure thoughts, good desires, holy soul by the Holy Spirit, is worth publishing longings, devout breathings, gracious affecat large upon the house tops. The royal |tions, and heavenly emotions, they are from Psalmist says—' All thy works shall praise the Lord ; 'for in me, that is in my flesh, thee, 0, Lord, and thy saints shall bless dwelleth no good thing. I am vile ; my thee; they shall speak of the glory of thy heart is corrupt ; all is out of order within ; kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make and with Paul I can say—' wretched man known to the sons of men his mighty acts, that I am! Under a sense of my sins and the glorious majesty of thy kingdom.' within, and the foulness of my nature, and a Ps. cxlv. 10, 11, 12. So ought the children proneness to wander from God, and to forget of the Lord now to act, and not to keep his him, and to lose sight of his indulgent hand, money hid in a napkin, or buried in the I mourn and sigh, and none can bring me earth; for, it is well worth exhibiting, (if relief, but him who gave me natural and spinot to the world at large,) to the church in ritual life. special. Think! and think soberly on this And here, sir, permit me to say, that some matter; and then, perhaps in your next letter years back, the Lord, of his infinite mercy, you will judge it worth while to be a little was pleased to shew me that I was a sinner more minute on this subject; especially, as in his sight, and a foul transgressor of his you will know that a detailed account of di. law, and deserved to be punished. After vine grace in your soul, would be very ac- this, he, in the compassion of his heart, ceptable to me. Bear this in mind, if you pointed out to me where I might obtain replease; and should you again write to me, lief without money and without price ; for, write without reserve, and also write at that he had laid help upon one that was length. I am glad to find that my writings mighty. This was cheering news to me ; have been made so very beneficial to your for, before this gospel information reached soul, and to your poor neighbour's. Give my ears, my soul lay scorching and sufferGod all the glory ; for, to him all the glory ing under the just rebukes of God; and belongs. I am also, exceedingly glad that sensible was I at the same time, that noyour views of the gospel, and of the great thing short of divine clemency could relieve scheme of salvation, are so clear, so sound, me from the smart I was under, and the and so good. The Spirit, I hope, hath given sore burden which oppressed me. The view you right apprehensions of these things; I had of him who is the end of the law for and I wish you may yet grow in grace, and righteousness, filled my soul with joy unin the saving knowledge of our Lord and speakable, and full of glory; and in my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
high raptures I concluded, as did some of old, It likewise is apparent to my mind, that to follow him through good and evil report. you stand in no need of information from It is good to be taught out of God's law, for me on the subject of human depravity; for, thereby we learn something of ourselves you know, and feel the truth of it, that man of our weakness ignorance-and far-gone is depraved ; not merely in part, but in condition. Yes; the thunderbolts of Sinai whole ; it is total depravity that we are un-wound deep; and he that feels them, and der, and suffering from. The whole head from them suffers much, is sure to set a high is sick, and the whole heart is faint; from estimate on the balm in Gilead, and the the sole of the foot, even unto the head, good physician there. there is no soundness in it; but wounds and Your correspondent has been made more bruises, and putrifying sores.' (Isa. i. 5, 6.) or less acquainted with the malady of sin,
and with the remedy provided in the gospel. | sailing on a smooth sea ; but it is not so; Under the load of sin and guilt he has suf. for I meet with troubles great and many, fered much, and in view of the mercy of and very painful; and they seem to say to God he has greatly rejoiced, and praised the me-We are but the effects of sin. Corrupt Lord, and took courage. The endearments nature in my heart yet puts forth itself at of Calvary have always come to me with in- times under strong coloring; and struggle creased delight; as the danger which sin has hard it does for mastery; and in the contest exposed my soul to has been opened to my I suffer more or less : but still grace reigns, view ; and hence, after my escape from im and reign it must and will; and that too, pending ruin, Calvary's mount, was to me, through righteousness unto eternal life, by a sacred spot; and to the cross my soul Jesus Christ, our Lord. That grace reigns would cling, and about it twine, as though is a source of encouragement to me in my virtue, peculiarly adapted to its case was saddest hours. Indeed, but for grace, my contained in the same. And here, too, your soul, in the midst of my trouble, would neBaltimore friend has fancied he has seen the cessarily sink down to rise no more for ever. Saviour of sinners in the midst of the Roman By grace, then, I am sustained, and of grace band with the sponge—the nails—the spear I make my boast. Join with me in this, the crown of thorns—and the mocking sol- sir, for I am pretty much alone, both in diers; and at the sight of which, his soul private life and in the ministry; and so, inhas melted like wax; and having experienced deed, I would rather be, unless I had real an abundance of sorrow and joy, and of good companions. Religion, merely in various dealings of God with me from time profession, is one thing, and the grace of to time, and from all which have been helped God in the heart is another ; and
God in the heart is another ; and this point, to draw a favourable conclusion as to the people, in a general way, pass over unnostanding of my soul before God; I have felt,
ticed; thinking that if they put on, and can and do yet feel, desirous of serving the Lord Keep up
keep up an outside show of godliness, all in the sanctuary through the residue of my
will be well with them. Such religionists as days. To live to myself would be a waste
these I wish to have nothing to do with; of time, and to try merely to please men
for, to me, they are but as froth upon the would be to insult him who hath said-1 am
water; or, as Paul says-sounding brass, and
tinkling cymbals. God, and there is none else. And hence to live to myself I have no wish, and merely
As there is an abundance of religion now
in the world, that is of no sort of worth or to please men I have no desire for ; but, to
benefit to any body, I would advise you to serve my Maker, who hath done so much for
have nothing to do with it; and also that my soul, is the anxiety of my mind; and
you be very cautious of what you receive for rather than this anxiety should die within
gospel. Christ's cause has always been me, let me cease to be. Adieu to this world
under reproach ; and you see it is so now ; when in it I have nothing more to do for
and he, who is enabled to embrace it by God. David says—In God will I praise
faith, will be sure to have reproach heaped his word ; in God have I put my trust.'
upon him in some shape or form. Also, if (Ps. lvi. 4.) O my God, may this be my you would be as a green olive tree, in your case, all through this mortal life! for it is
profession, you will have to be very circumgood to sing praises unto our God; for it is spect in all your movements, and to endeapleasant ; and praise is comely.
vour to live near, and to walk humbly with It is my intention, dear sir, and the re-God, and closely to consult his word, and quest of many friends, to lay before the often to petition him at a throne of grace, church of Christ an account of the gracious and minutely to watch his hand towards you dealings of God with my soul, and the way in providence. "Who is wise, and he shall which he hath led me these many years in understand these things ? prudent, and he the wilderness; for methinks I should not shall know them ? for the ways of the Lord hide them from our children, but shew to are right, and the just shall walk in them : the generations to come, the praises of the but the transgressors shall fall therein.' Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful (Hosea xiv. 9.) works that he hath done.' (Ps. lxxviii. 4.)| As far as it can comport with propriety, The God of Israel hath wrought marvel- / stand aloof from all carnal religionists, since lously for me, and I hope a publication of their conversation on religious subjects will it will be for his glory and honour. When only tend to worry your mind, and confuse I shall commence writing and preparing it your judgment; they, not understanding the for the press I cannot say at present, for I spirit of the gospel. Experimental chrisam very busy in writing of other works, and tians, who know the Scriptures, and the in travelling and preaching.
power of God, and are alive in the ways of I should judge by your letter that you the Lord, will be the best companions for think I am almost or quite without trials you to have; and a few of them will be suffiand difficulties in the divine life, and am cient for you, and especially if you make good use of them. Also, as the God of solation must flow into yonr troubled breast, providence has seen fit that the circle and afflicted conscience—then there must in which you move should be of a much be struggles for a long time between duty higher class than what is common for chris- and latent pride, concerning writing to a tians to move in, you, no doubt, will find person so low and inconsiderable as inyself, some snares peculiar to that situation ; and, the trammels of ambition must give way, which will be very alluring, and entangling and pride retire to make room for duty to to your mind. I hope grace and strength do its office-a few lines must, forthwith be will be given you according to the day of posted off to Baltimore in Maryland-all trial. My soul feels for you, sir ; but, I know these things attended to, the German gentlethat nothing is too hard for the Lord. My man must return to his native land, a sound wish is that your heart may be right with believer in the eternal Son of God! God, and daily under the tuition of the Holy How mysterious, I say, are the footGhost; and, that you may be filled with steps of providence! In my own instance such a degree of holy fervor, as may be I have found them to be so; and they are honourable to so noble a cause, as is the one, yet so. Well may it be said, in reference in which, through grace, you have embarked; to our eternal God-Clouds and darkness are and, also, that you may live to the praise of round about him. (Ps. xcvii. 2.) the glory of his grace, who remembered us I now, sir, beg to take my leave of you, in our low estate, and whose mercy endureth with a sincere desire for the promotion of for ever. I trust, likewise, that the Lord, your spiritual welfare all through this mortal our God, will fill your soul with divine faith, life. I am, your's, very affectionately, and your mouth with such arguments as that
JAMES OSBOURN. you shall plead with him so as to prevail. Baltimore, May, 1826. And, sir, there certainly is such a thing as living near to God, and having fellowship with him, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. I Smiting Kirjath-sepher. Do, pray, try this manner of living; and AN EXPLANATION OF MATT. VI. 23. you will find it to be gainful to your soul. I
By William Harris, the Ploughman, I, also, must here intreat you to bear in mind, that real christianity consists in “ If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darksomething more than the mere letter of ness, how great is that darkness." truth, in the head; and an outside show. Yes; it consists in an experimental acquaint- This is the second text proposed by your ance with ourselves as sinners, lost and un- correspondent, A. B., and which I will endone ; and a knowledge of salvation by the deavour to unfold, as the Lord may give me remission of our sins. (Luke i.) Think these light and understanding. I am hard pressed few things over in your mind, and preserve for time, iny daily labour occupying much this letter from a premature grave, so that of it, at this period of the year : conseyou may glance at it again, when on your quently, my observations must be confined own soil, whither it seems the whole family to spare limits. of you are going ere it be long. Many In the preceding chapter we have an acthings wrought, and done, for, and in you, count of the Lord's followers, or disciples ; by Jehovah, the Spirit, within these two or and, of his instructing them in many things, three years past, will strongly tend to remind particularly against the errors of that day. you of this Western Continent, when in Ger-Some, perhaps, may be curious to ask, “how many ; and this epistle, also, will jog your we are to know a disciple ?' To which, I memory, sometimes of where you have been, answer, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. and with whom you have had to do.
Christ says— Every man that hath heard, How vastly mysterious are the footsteps and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto of providence! I must needs leave Eng- me.' I(See John vi. 45, latter clause.) Now, land and come to America to preach the it is very clear that the Lord's followers are gospel, and write and publish books; and in search for mercy; and, according to the most who hear the word from my mouth, Word, must be in great fear of being lost. and read my books, must be so left of God This we may see by Peter's sermon, when as to hate and condemn the preaching and the multitude cried out-Men and breththe books—some few must be singled out ren what shall we do ?' &c. While a man to read them, and love them, and to feed on remains in a state of nature, he feels no conwhat is contained therein.-You, a blind cern about the state of his immortal soul : Lutheran must leave Germany, and come, no! Examine the testimony of Paul, in and live in this happy land long enough to his seventh chapter to the Romans, and parperuse my works, volume after volume, till ticularly the ninth verse, which reads thusyour mind is awakened to a deep sense of For, I was alive without the law, once; your ruined condition by nature; and still but, when the commandment came, sin reto read on till light, peace, and divine con- vived, and I died.' Paul was a great pro
fessor at that time, but he had not been more than this-that the Lord has left it on convinced of sin ; but, when convinced, his record, to shew what his law is, and its sins and his presumption' was brought to effects, when, and where it is applied; the light: and, he says, he despaired of all hope. state men are brought to, by it; their happy • For, sin, taking occasion by the command-deliverance therefrom; with the knowledge ment, deceived me, and by it slew me.' of their being in Christ Jesus through faith; (Rom. vii. 11.)
and that from all their corruptions and The next account he gives us, is of his temptations of satan, coupled with the inhappy deliverance from his trouble, in the insults of wicked professors, the Lord will eighth chapter of Romans, and the second deliver them, and land them safe in eternal verse- For the law of the spirit of life, in glory. Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law This light is from the Lord; and all of sin and death.' Now, every person must other doctrines, in opposition to it, is darkknow this teaching, in a degree, which Paul ness; whether we take those of former days, came up to, before they can be accounted a in the days of Christ's incarnation, such as disciple, or a follower of our Lord; and, if that of the Pharisee, Saducee, Nicolaitan, a man take the office of a minister upon who all judged themselves to have the greathim, without this knowledge, he runs unsent, est light ; but the light which was in them let him be whom he may, and that he will was darkness.' And coming down to the find out to his sorrow, in a dying hour. present day, taking a glance at the high
The Lord knew his people would have an Church, the Arminian, the Unitarian, the abundance of enemies, through preaching Sabellian, and the greater part of professed the truth, and speaking of it before them Calvinists, they also judge themselves poswho were destitute of this knowledge, there- sessed of the greatest light; but, like the fore he taught them this, among many former, their great light is but darkness ;' things, by way of establishment; and, so he but, our Lord was shewing the dark state of does, by his Spirit to this day. See his ser- the Pharisee, and acquainting his own people nion in the mount. (Matt. v.) There our with it, that they might be on their guard, Lord tells them they are the light of the and shun the doctrine of devils. world; but in the twentieth verse he par
William HARRIS, the Ploughman. ticularly enforces-'That except your righte
Hailsham. ousness shall exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall, in no case, enter into the kingdom of heaven. In the following chapter (the sixth,) he
WHAT THINGS ARE NECESSARY
FOR A spake many encouraging words to them, that they might be on their guard, and keep in Spiritual Ministration of the Gospel. view the true teaching of the Spirit ; and A few words for “ Young Timothy." to try all other doctrines by it. Then he instructs them in the knowledge of prayer ; and, in the 16th verse, he opens up the pro- MY DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:-1, fane humility of the Pharisees, and shews reading the communication of “Young Tithat the whole of their doctrine was from mothy' in the September Vessel, and your satan,-' Ye are of your father, the devil, faithful and affectionate remarks upon it, I and the lusts of your father will ye do.' was led into a train of thought which I trust (John viii. 44.)
was not unprofitable to my own soul at the In the chapter at the head of my paper, time, and it was impressed on my mind that our Lord is encouraging his ministers, and these reflections would not be altogether their followers, not to covet after earthly unseasonable to our friend and brother things, as the Scribes and Pharisees did; young Timothy, in this stage of his experiand then comes, immediately, to the words, ence; and as he has laid an embargo upon • If, therefore, the light that is in thee be the Editor, by saying, 'Use no means to darkness, how great is that darkness.' Here find me,' we have no means of reaching bis the Lord is unfolding to his people the rise eye, or ear, or heart, but by dropping our of the doctrine of the Pharisees, and its not communication to him into the Earthen being of God; but the whole was from satan, | Vessel. for there are but two spirits : and so all doc- To Timothy, dearly beloved in the Lord, trines now, that differ from the true disci- • Grace, mercy, and peace from God our pline of the Spirit of God, originate from Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.' This the spirit of darkness, satan. The children is a true saying, if a man desire the office of God are said to be light in the Lord,' of a bishop he desireth a good thing.' because they receive it from the Spirit; and, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in again, he is said, to take of the things of the latter times some shall depart from the Christ, and reveal it to his people. The faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and meaning of the passage, I believe, is no doctrines of devils.' We live in these
latter times, perilous times, the professing before a scoffing and infidel world, the church loves darkness rather than light, they apostate gentile professing church, and the are saying, prophecy unto us smooth things ; spirit taught followers of the once crucified, men are lovers of their ownselves, the pas- but now risen and exalted Jesus. To enable tors have become brutish, and the people us to do this, we need - Secondly, -an have no spiritual understanding in divine absolute and humble dependance on the things,'having the form of godliness, but power and ministry of the Holy Ghost: this denying the power thereof; from such turn will lead us to feel with Paul, when he said, away. The word of the Lord by Paul to · And who is sufficient for these things ? ' Timothy is a solemn word -(2 Timn. iv. 1,5). And again, ‘Not that we are sufficient of Three things are necessary to a spiritua! ourselves, to think anything as of ourselves; gospel ministry, an uncompromising deter- but our sufficiency is of God.' Then shall mination to contend earnestly for the faith we know and rejoice that we have this treaonce delivered to the saints; an absolute sure of the gospel in earthen vessels, that dependance on the power and ministry of the excellency of the power may be of God, the Holy Ghost; and a deep solemnity of and not of us,' and then the inore we see mind under a consciousness of the divine and feel our own weakness, insufficiency and presence.
infirmity, the more gladly shall we rather First, an uncompromising determination glory in our infirmities, that the power of to 'contend for the truth once delivered to Christ may rest upon us ; rejoice in our the saints.' Faithfully, fearlessly and affec- weakness, for when we are weak, then are tionately declaring the whole counsel of we strong; and bless God for a sense of God, whether men will hear, or whether insufficiency, knowing that our sufficiency they will forbear; a separating the precious is of the Lord. In this state of dependfrom the vile that we may be as God's ance, the Holy Spirit, our divine teacher and mouth. In doctrine showing incorruptness, guide, who sat upon the disciples as cloven gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot tongues of fire, will make our tongues in be condemned, that he which is of the con- the ministry of the word as the pen of a trary part may be ashamed, having no evil ready writer, and the hearers who receive thing to say of you. The eternal, unchang- the word with power, the manifestly declared ing and unalterable love of God the Father epistles of Christ, ministered by us, written to the church in his eternal purpose, which not with ink, but with the spirit of the living he purposed in himself from before the God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshly foundation of the world ; his sovereign elec- tables of the heart; and the man who is tion of the church in Christ Jesus before made alive by the power of the Holy Ghost time, his blessing them with all spiritual to the responsibility of the ministerial blessings in heavenly places in Christ, and work, will earnestly seek of the divine his gift of the Holy Spirit to convince, spirit. Thirdly,-Solemnity of mind under regenerate and sanctify them, to make them a consciousness of the divine presence. The meet to be partakers of the inheritance of church is God's Zion, God's city, and the the saints in light. The surety-ship office name of it is Jehovah-shammah, “The and responsible engagements of our glo- Lord is there ;' as the place of his feet, the rious Lord in an everlasting and well-ordered church is glorious. We go as God's sercovenant of grace, his incarnation, suffer-vants, to deliver God's message in God's ings, death, resurrection, ascension and house to God's people. We profess to be intercession at the right hand of God, the ministers of Christ; commissioned by the relationship he bears, and the characters he Spirit to testify of the grace of God to the sustains to the church by virtue of his cove- church of Christ, in his more immediate nant engagements with the Father, together presence : 'For where two or three are with those endearing manifestations of gathered together in my name, there (says grace, by which he calls forth the love of Jesus) am I in the midst of them.' 'Hothe church to himself, and proves the one-liness becometh the house of the Lord for ness of the church with himself, and gives ever, (whose house are we) For holy and her nearness of access to God by the full reverend is his name.' Shall we then sointerest and all-prevailing plea of his name, lemnly trifle and lightly sport after the person, blood and righteousness; and the fleshly inclinations of our carnal mind almighty operations and invincible grace with the solemn truths of God's holy word ? of God the Holy Ghost in the soul of a And that too in the presence of the divine believer; revealing the love of the Father and majesty, professing to be solemnly engaged the redemption of the Son, thus bringing | in the glorious ministration of the Spirit ? the church to the knowledge of the mys- God forbid. 'God is greatly to be feared tery of God, and the Father, and of Christ,'| | in the assemblies of his saints, and to be is the grand basis of our most holy faith, had in reverence of all them that are about that faith once delivered to the saints, and, him. On all the truths of God, the minisfor which we are called earnestly to contend, trations of the Spirit, and the worship of