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The Descent—the Character—and the Work of the Patriarch Noah.
MY DEAR BROTHER, JOHN HALKE:— the powers of my fallen nature-all the In your last letter to me there are three deceitful workings of my wicked heart, questions. First, you ask — Where are loudly and daily cry out— We will not you? Well, I will endeavour to tell / walk therein.' you, my brother. Soon after reading Secondly, you ask, “Are you growing this question in your note, I was on my downwards, and bearing fruit upwards, knees begging the Lord to favour me as good trees do?' Truly, my brother, with a message to carry up to the people in many ways I am growing downwards, at Hephzibah Chapel ; when these words and how low I shall ultimately sink in fell into my soul- Ask for the old paths.' soul-feeling, I cannot tell : I trust there This word was repeated again : and I is at times a little fruit, or incense, which arose and searched for the words, and being found in my poor soul ascends upfound them in Jeremiah vi. 6, which wards in desires, as before expressed. verse reads thus— Stand ye in the ways, But, really, John Halke, I see and feel and see, and ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS, so much within that is contrary to me, where is the good way, and walk therein; and am oft’times so afflicted in outward and ye shall find rest for your souls. But things, that they said, we will not walk therein.'
I wonder where the scene will end. These words, my brother, were so fixed in my mind, that I went off to the
In the third place, you say, your dear
spouse, wishes to know whether you are scene of my Friday-evening labours- | Puse,
to have a line for a Christmas box, or a but there was such a dreadful fog with-|
New Year's Gift. out, and so much coldness and darkness within; that I could neither see
Yes, my brother, tell your good wife,
whom I love in the truth, and for the nor feel much to the comfort of my soul.
truth's sake, that I am now about to send However, what I told the people will be
to you some little account of a rather an answer to your first question- Where are you?' Í declared that ever since
large box, whose history I have found God called me by his grace, I have been
described in the book of Genesis : it is standing more or less, in the ways :').
1, commonly called “Noah's ARK. May that is, in searching the Scriptures; in.
in the Lord give you some little comfort in the hearing or preaching of the Gospel ; 1
your soul, while you peruse the followand in some measure of secret prayer, 1.
ing fragments gathered up from three before the eternal God. As regards the
" sermons preached by your poor servant
at Crosby Row, last Lord's Day, and on old paths, I found out seven, that I have
the Tuesday evening following, from been led to ask for, and at times to realise in some measure. There are, 1.
Genesis viii. 21, 22. God's everlasting and electing love: I
" And the Lord smelled a sweet savour ; want to walk sweetly in that. 2. The
fler in the h and the Lord said in his heart, I will not glorious covenant of grace: I want to lag
again curse the ground any more for man's prove again and again my interest in
sake ; for the imagination of man's heart is
in evil from his youth; neither will I again that. 3. Eternal union to a precious smite any more every living thing, as I have Christ: I want solemnly to be assured done. While the earth remaineth, seed-time of this. 4. The downcoming and in- and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer dweiling of Jesus, by the power of the and winter, and day and night shall not Holy Ghost: I do desire to be deeply cease." acquainted with that. 5. Redemption ; Of course, I cannot put into this little by the blood of Christ. 6. Justification box, all that I said in that great boxby the righteousness of Christ. And, (the pulpit at Crosby Row, but I will 7. An ascension into the kingdom of (by the help of the Lord,) put down a Christ: these are the old paths my soul few things. is asking for, desiring in them to walk ; First-of Noah's descent and origin. and therein to find rest. “But they said, In the book of the generation of Adam,' we will not walk therein.' This is just(or, as Bezer renders it, in the rehearsal where I am. I am standing in the ways: of the stock,') Noah's great grandsire is I am asking for the old paths : but all called Enoch, and the Holy Ghost, (by that stern apostle Jude) very emphati-, with my adorable Lord and Master. In cally says of Enoch, that he was the one of them, I seemed to be drawn by seventh from Adam : or, 'a perfect his love; in the other, I wrestled with man from God, which the comment him by faith and prayer. But enough of the Holy Ghost seems fully to justify, of myself; I only want to speak of the for, of Enoch he says-he 'walked with old paths wherein our Lord was seen. God, and he was not; for God took Noah, then, was certainly a very great him. I am no scholar myself : but the type of Christ. Noah was a builder; he learned ones tell me that Enoch means, built the ark; and Zechariah's heart one that is dedicated, or taught ; and he seems to have been filled with zeal for was, I believe, a sweet type of the Christ Christ, when he cries out—" Even he of God, as set up in the everlasting shall build the temple of the Lord, and he covenant: for so Christ speaks himself— shall bear the glory." Ah, that he shall ! (Isaiah 50.) The Lord God hath opened and a good builder he is; he builds his mine ear-he hath given me the tongue house upon a rock; and it can never fall. of the learned, that I should know how Noah was a priest : he builded an altar to speak a word in season to him that is unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerweary. In the council chamber of the ings on the altar; and Paul (speaking of ancient covenant Christ walked with Jesus) says, “We have a great High God—was hidden in God-and embraced Priest, who is for us entered into heaven; by God: these three things were typi- one that can be touched with the feeling fied in Enoch; as the old Bible renders of our infirmities, because in all things it— Enoch walked with God; he was he was tempted like as we are, yet not seen; for God held him.'
without sin.' Noah was a prophet : he Noah's grandfather, (Enoch's son,) was said, God shall enlarge Japheth, and he called Methuselah ; three interpretations shall dwell in the tents of Shem: but are given of this name: he sent; his cursed shall be Canaan, a servant of death ; or, the spoiler of death. This servants shall he be unto his brethren.' Methuselah represents the incarnation In looking at the character of Noah, of Christ, and the great end to be an- I find I must be very brief; otherwise swered by his taking upon him the form the four-fold description of him, (when of a servant; it was that he might spoil applied to our glorious Lord) would be death, and him that had the power of found to be full of rich gospel truth. I death, that is the devil. Noah's father only give a word on each ; you will do is called Lamech; one that is very poor ; well to work it out in meditation and humble ; and smitten; all this became prayer. 1. Of Noah, it is said, he found the Son of God: though he was rich, grace in the eyes of the Lord,' that is, for your sakes he became poor; a man God delighted in him; he loved him : in of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; the 18th of the first chapter of St John's one that was stricken, smitten of God, gospel, Christ is said to dwell in the and afflicted; but out of this low estate, bosom of the Father; expressive (says from under these smitings and wounds, Bezer) not only of the great love and he has arisen. GOD IS GONE UP WITH delight which the Father has in Christ, A SHOUT ; having led captivity captive, but that Christ was straitly joined to the and received gifts for men.
Father in nature, essence, and union. : Lamech also represents a poor child Oh, sweet theme this, brother Halke; of God when laid down under the smit- but Peter says, only to them that believe. ings of a guilty conscience, the terrors Can you rejoice in the exaltation of of death, and the fears of eternal con-Christ ? Surely, you are one with him. demnation. Yet out of this poor La-! 2. Noah was a just man; this meaneth mech, the Holy Ghost brings forth Noah a man that renders unto all their due.
-(that is rest and comfort ;) and then Christ, as Mediator, was a just man. He precious faith, with Christ in her arms, gave all the glory to his father ; he gives sings aloud, and says this same shall all new-covenant blessings to the church; comfort us concerning our work, and and to impenitent rebels, he will give the toil of our hands.' Oh, how solid the just wages of their sin, which is eternal rest; how solemn the comfort, when death. Oh, what a mercy to have our Christ, by precious faith, is thus brought sins washed away in his blood, and our forth! I have, my brother, been a little naked souls adorned in his righteousness! indulged in this way of late. I have 3. Noah was perfect in his generations. had two distinct seasons of communion 'So is Christ. To generate is to beget ; Christ is perfect in all his begettings :1. 1. That the patriarch was especially where he begets life, he begets faith, and instructed to make rooms in the ark. hope, and love; love begets obedience, Bezer renders this word cabins ; but in peace and perseverance; he will never the Hebrew it is nests, or secret places. forsake the work of his own hands. In the professing church, as well as in
4. Noah walked with God. This de- the ark,) there are places for unclean notes not only close fellowship, but a beasts and for many unholy things, as oneness of heart and mind. Christ loves well as for truly spiritual souls. 'This whom the Father loves ; and redeemed has staggered me as much as anything all the Father gave; and he calls home, in my life, to find really wicked men, (through the Spirit) every one whose hardened in their wickedness, and both names the Father wrote down in the secretly and openly following after, and Book of Life. God the Father, God the living in such things as are contrary to Son, and God the Holy Ghost, will God and godliness, yet many such stand together, work together, walk together. in a gospel profession; and there are The Father prepared the work without ; not a few, who render great temporal the Son made it fit for him in the field ; support to poor Zion, who advocate her the Holy Ghost doth build the house. cause, who keep open her doors, who
Noah's work is the next thing to be help to support her ministers (in a casual noticed ; that is, his being commissioned way,) who give no certain evidence that to build an ark. I am aware that some they ever had any dwelling in the secret of the greatest commentators have not place of the Most High. hesitated roundly to declare that Noah's Oh, my brother, how solemn is the ark was a type of the person, and medi. consideration, that many a man (like the atorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ. foolish virgin) will run along with the But, to me, this seems painful. I have church in her external seeking for felt deep in ward grief in my soul that Christ) until the dark night of death the person of my Lord, and his glorious shall discover the awful fact that his work should thus be spoken of. Did lamp was destitute of oil! God almighty Christ build himself ? Did he die to grant that you and I may have the pure redeem reprobates as well as vessels of oil of grace in our hearts; and if we mercy? Was his person and work done have this, depend upon it, our spiritual with, and flung away so soon as the Aaron will often dress our lamps for us, storm was over? I cannot look upon (Exodus xxx. 7, 8, we shall often feel the ark as anything more than a repre- as though all our light was gone out, and sentation of the gospel church, called by an horror of darkness will come over the our Lord, the kingdom of heaven,' and soul; we shall often be mortified and which, in this time state is made up of crucified in all our fleshly desires and both wise and foolish virgins. There pursuits; we shall often be laid in the were in the ark four typical characters. dust of self-abasement, and be compelled Noah, (of Christ ;) Shem, (of the Jews ;) to groan and sigh in secret before God; Ham, (of the cursed seed :) and Japheth, but, if we have the true oil of grace in (of God's elect among the Gentiles ;) just our hearts, depend on it, it will shine shewing that the professing church should and shew itself in that dark valley, whose contain elect Jews, elect Gentiles, and cold mists and deadly vapours extinguish non-elect persons, who should be as all natural lights, kill all natural powers, servants to the church of Christ; who but in which the light and life of God should have business to do in the church; is often made most blessedly transparent and who should thereby escape the pol- even to such as possess not this light lutions of the world, through the know-themselves. Look at Joseph in the ledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.' (2 Pet. prison; at Daniel in the lion's den; at ii. 20.) And such is the real condition Jonah in the whale's belly ; at Paul and and constitution of what may now be Silas in their chains; at John in the termed the professing christian church. Isle of Patmos ; at Bunyan in his cell. Under this impression, I have it in my Oh, how the oil of grace did shine in heart to point out to you one or two those dark nights of affliction; and true things with reference to this ark, as de- grace is still the same. Many obituaries in scriptive of the circumstances in which this month's Vessel will shew you how in we as a professing people, are now placed. death, the light of heaven discovers itself.
Not to dwell upon the material of But in the ark, there were cabins, nests, which the ark was made, I notice. or secret places. So, in the gospel church, there are thousands of the Lord's hidden she says—If I may but touch the hem of ones, who are in secret places : in places his garment, I shall be made whole.' known only to God and their own souls. There is another woman, running about Oh, could you see some of them snared from place to place, crying out— Come, and taken in old besetting sins, spending see a man which told me all things that sleepless nights and awful days, having ever I did. Is not this the Christ ?' Oh! guilt in their consciences, and heavy sor- what zeal and boldness this man appears row in their hearts. Others are laying to have !— I am determined to know under the terrors of a broken law, and nothing among you, save Jesus Christ closely pursued with the hottest tempta- and him crucified. Well, this is a nice tions to put an end to their existence. place to be in; but even here I perceive Others are raised up by the power of the there are some afflicted souls. Did you Holy Ghost, and by faith are enabled to hear what that man said which lays down look' unto the Son of God to look into at the feet of the throne ? No. What did the love of his heart-to look into the he say? Why,—Lest I should be exalted fountain of his blood to look into the above measure, there was given me a glories of his great redemption; and as
thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan the eye fetches light out of the sun, so to buffet me.' Ah! I see how it is. There faith brings forth the virtue of his love, are some wicked spirits even here, and his blood, his grace, and salvation; and though they cannot destroy Japheth's herewith faith warms the sinner's heart, children, yet they have power to worry, to cleanses his conscience, seals home par
tempt and afflict them. don and peace in his soul, and gives him Let us go up into the third story. What secretly to bless and praise the riches of sweet words are written on the doorsuper-abounding grace.
| He hath brought me into his banquetting I cannot enlarge upon the window house, and his banner over me is love.' which looked up to heaven; the door | What a delightful song that venerable old which was set in the side thereof; ' nor prophet sings—Behold God is my salvaupon the pitching of it within and with. tion; I will trust, and not be afraid ; out: but I close by simply observing though he was angry with me, his anger there were lower stories; second stories; ist
is turned away, and he comforteth me.' and third stories in the ark; and so I How happy he seems! His eyes seem find there are in the gospel church.
fixed upwards :- and every now and then, True gospel experience, or the exer.
| he says—This is not my rest; come, cises of divine life in the soul. may be Lord Jesus, come quickly. Oh, I see ! divided into three distinct departments. This is the wealthy place David told us I may say that Saul of Tarsus was in the about..
in the about. It is called — Full Assurance.' lower story, when he laid three days and
“Flere we could sit, and sing away,
A long, an everlasting day.” three nights in darkness, and could Brother Halke - let me now askneither eat nor drink. In this place, WHERE ARE YOU? I have neither room too, once laid my poor old friend and nor time to say more than pray as did brother Jeremiah, when he said, 'my one of oldstrength and my hope is perished from “ While I draw this fleeting breath, the Lord. And in this lower story there
When mine eye-strings break in death;
When I fly to worlds unknown, are many living souls; but they see not See thee on thy judgineni throne; their signs; they know not their stand
Rock of ages ; shelter me,
Let me hide myself in thee.” ing; the days of darkness with them are
C. W BANKS, many, and their trouble of soul is heavy.
Pagoda Terrace, Bermondsey New Road, Come up into the second story. Look | November 25th, 1847. at the precious things written all round the sides of this part of the ark. Let
THE DYING Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Testimony of a Restored Saint Lord there is mercy, and with him there is plenteous redemption. The vision
[MR. EDITOR, -Having received the en
closed from my esteemed brother, I send is yet for an appointed time; but at the
it you, and should you think it worth a end it will speak.'. He is able to save unto |
place in the Earthen Vessel, for the good the very uttermost all that come unto God
of the Lord's dear family, you are at by him.' Dear me; what a many precious liberty to do so. I visited her on her souls there are here! There is a woman dying bed. She died triumphantly happy, trying to press through the crowd, and! and full of confidence in God—that she
should be with him in paradise, and said the precious Jesus; sanctified, called, and to me
reclaimed by the Eternal Spirit; and though “Jesus can make a dying bed,
Abraham knew her not, and Israel acknowSoft as downy pillows are."
ledged her not, yet known unto the Lord are I much admire the Vessel; may heaven's
all his saints; and precious shall their death best blessings attend it to the souls of
be in his sight. And I consider her death the Lord's dear family, and all your la
worthy of recording for the glory of his bours of love too, is the fervent desire of
great name; and for the encouragement of one so truly unworthy, REBECCA WELLS.Jihose who are travelling home to God. Dear Sister in ENDLESS UNION, AND IN Darkness had set in upon her soul it seems BOUNDLESS MERCY:-Your letter just re- for a few days in her affliction, when sudceived has refreshed me much; it tells me of denly she burst out saying—' O good news the happy departure of our dear sister L-, from a far country, my Jesus is come; he which took place on Tuesday last. I say loves me; I feel assured of it; I am full of happy departure ; because,
glory as much as I can hold, and rather '“ The soul that dwells where Jesus is, more. And as she drew nearer the final Must be for ever blest.”
moment, and her sufferings became increasAnd though the malignant may even doubt it for want of that, which here gives the
ingly great; and one asked her, 'If she felt
as happy as ever ?' her reply was, Why do groaner, hope; the dying, peace; the dead,
you ask me that question, nothing vexes me glory-immortal glory!
like that ; I am as full of joy as ever I can “O hateful Prejudice ! like adders deaf, Thou shut'st thine ears against the truth, and will
be; I had so much joy for two days I did Not hear the charmer's voice, however wise he not know how to contain myself. Do you Charm, because thy image, mind, and features
think the Lord would give me this joy, and Are not seen on her; yet though thou wilt not Hear, thou deem'st it heresy; and thus, in
then take it away again? It's not likely. I Rage, condemnest what thou knows't not." know he will not take it away again. She I well remember the tale of her experience, paused a minute or two ; and said, 'It is when her eyes poured out tears freely; she hard work to die; I must d ie; it will soon said, “God inade you the means of reclaim- be all over ; I shall soon be with Jesus; tell ing my backsliding soul, for I had awfully every body I am going to Paradise.' The departed from my God. I had grown care- night before she expired, she laid her hand less, and neglected every thing I ought to on her bosom ; and said, I have a cup full have attended to. I felt wretched, guilty, of glory here, it runneth over.' She slept and miserable. I thought I had no part nor again a short time ; woke up and said, “Bless lot in the matter. My burden was grevious the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within to bear. Your preaching searched me, me (laying her hand on her bosom) forget stripped me, condemned me. The hand of not all his mercies.' Soon after, she bid God went out against me." Temptation was adieu to all below; leaving earth for heaven very strong. I felt no hope. I thought I on the very day she predicted the Lord's-day was eternally lost. I was determined to previous. Faithful is our God who calleth hear you no more ; to go to the house of his people; and surely the redeemed of the God no more ; concluding it was of no use ; Lord should say so, for love everlasting God would have nothing to do with such an fastens on its objects ; and notwithstanding unholy wretch as me. But the time for the manifold infirmities of the poor wayward worship came; I went heavy, guilty, and runagate, fearful. I got up into the gallery ; you took
"All Israel must to glory go," your text; the dear Lord wrought with the There to mingle the loud and lasting song of word; his power, his love, his grace, his salvation to God and the Lamb. May the mercy entered my hard heart; I was melted ; same Almighty arm rescue the surviving my eyes streamed. I had hope once more. family; and may my poor sinful soul be I blessed the name of my precious Jesus. I washed in the same fountain ; arrayed in the wanted to praise him. I wanted to tell the same dress; experience the same supplies friends, and to acquaint you also of his great and support; reach
and support; reach the same haven ; and sing goodness. But I am very poor, and not
the same Hallelujah for Christ's sake, Amen. likely to be noticed ; so this is one reason
The Lord's labourers also may be encouI let years go by before I told you; and I raged by the above. Years may roll over am now so fearful of myself, sin, and Satan; your heads ye servants of the living God, that if the Lord don't keep me, I shall be a and you fretting in your minds, tempted to hypocrite at last. O. praj Sir, the Lord to think you labour in vain ; this cannot be. strip me, and keep me from hypocrisy. For he declares My word shall not return Thus did our departed friend express her unto me void,' &c. Cheer up, the master feelings with that simple sincerity, that con- whom you serve tells you -What you know vinced me by her after corresponding life, I not now, you shall know hereafter. and now by her dying testimony, that shé ! A poor sinner saved by Christ alone, was no hypocrite, but one of the elected of
THOMAS Poock. the Father ; preserved in, and redeemed by' Ipswich, Nov. 13th, 1847.