Page images
PDF
EPUB

There is a Vein for the Silver ; and a place for the Gold where they fine it.

TO MY FAITHFUL FRIENDS FULFORTH, OF STURRY, IN KENT:DEARLY BELOVED—That great grace, | (after years of deliberate consideration, mercy, and a peaceful prosperity of soul, and painful suffering,) that they all remay be with you, and with all that love sulted from an overpowering temptation, our Lord Jesus Christ, is, and I trust against which I fought with prayers, and ever, will be my most earnest prayer. groans, and resolutions, and promises ; Two things appear more particularly to but which stole upon me, overcame me, have moved me to write unto you:- and, at length, put such a yoke round First, because when I was with you at my neck, my heart, and my conscience, Sturry on the 7th instant, I could not as to work out everything that was open my mind to you as I desired; and, black and bad ; when I say this is it secondly, because I feel persuaded that christian-like to lay up these things, your sincere and faithful attachment to which have been like arrows in their the cause of Christ has brought many souls, and now turn them back upon me; afflictions and severe trials into your and prevent every attempt that might be souls.

made to bring about reconciliation ? Soon after I took my seat this morn- Let me tell you two things, friend Fuling in one of the carriages of the Great forth : first, it is a great comfort to me Western Railway, being on a journey that these dear souls have not been perinto Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, and mitted to turn back into Egypt; howOxford, to speak in the name of the ever weak and divided they may be, I Lord, these words—There is a vein for feel a consolation that they are kept in the silver, and a place for the gold where the way. Oh, may the Lord be pleased they fine it,' came into my soul; and it to unite and strengthen their hearts, and did so seem to open up the deeply mys. make them to flourish in the courts of terious path through which I have his house. Another thing I can say, my walked ; and did stir up such feelings spiritual love to them has never dimin. of sympathy towards those who are op- ished; and I do pray that you will not posed to me, as well as those who kindly allow their feelings against me to, separeceive me, that I resolved to give you rate you from them. Do you with me, some account of the severe exercises of as they did in days of old with Jonahmy mind in coming to Canterbury, and throw me over-board sooner than dishow (I do hope) the good Lord delivered sensions and divisions should spring up me from them,

among you. As to my coming down to Canterbury, Now to come to the exercises of my I never came with more peace and mind. When I left Canterbury on Fri. gratitude to God for what he had done day morning last, (although I had

But the next morning all my preached in your little Zoar the night past transgressions were canvassed over. previous with some holy confidence, yet I was carried back to the unhappiest part when I awoke the next morning, and of my life ; and I found that some, in- set out for London) such a cloud of stead of being prepared to receive me darkness covered my mind, that I beas a servant of Christ, were as deter- gan to look upon myself as one of the mined in their prejudice against me as basest and blackest of wretches: someever. Well; this was painful to me. Most thing said within, 'I had been all my thankful should I be, if I could heal life-long deceived, and was only a deevery wound that I have made, and repair ceiver of others. This filled me with. every breach. My soul would greatly woe, and dark forebodings of something rejoice if I could restore a thousand fold, worse to come; and I sunk so low that (in every sense) for all the wrong that I almost felt a wish to cease from preachhave done ; but I cannot. Wrong has ing altogether. In this state I continued, been done; sin has been committed; with little intermission, all the way to injuries have been sustained ; but when London ; and after I arrived home these I declare, as in the presence of God, who dark and dreadful feelings greatly in searcheth me through and through, that creased upon me. I preached that night these things were not done with wicked at Mile End to a crowded congregation, and wilful intentions; when I declare, from Ezekiel x. 4, 5, but still inward

FF

for me.

[ocr errors]

sorrow, and secret fear were gnawing the gather thick, old sins come up to rememvery vitals of my heart. Saturday came; brance, and dense darkness veils the mind I had heavy sums of money, owing me, dungeon I know I laid from the early part

-then it is a low dungeon. In this low but none could I get in. 'I had heavy of 1840, to the latter end of 1843;

and into bills to pay, and nothing to pay them some fearful sense of this low-dungeon, with. Oh, what a day of sorrow was state I have gone this week. In fact, i that to me.

But I was helped through never go to Canterbury but all my old it, and retired to my bed with a heavy wounds seem to be opened ; arrows are heart, and a mind as apparently vacant unbelief says, I am a great deceiver; and of all spiritual matter as it could well this unbelief throws me down, and I sink be. I arose on Lord's Day Morning, in deep waters. I said, when I got into and said to myself — How solemn a Canterbury, I am come down comfortable, thing it is to be going into the service and hope to remain in peace; but I find it of God in such a state of mind as this ! cannot be. Jeremiah describes this low dun

geon, in this third of Lamentations ; (ver. I besought the Lord to appear_twice 5–11; and again 42—47); He hath comin my bed-room did I go and beg him to passed me with gall and travail, bittercome into my soul; I felt a real in ward ness of soul and heavy labour, without dedesire to come near. I went down into my liverance; to be set in dark places; to room, and I tried to draw near to the have the chains made heavy; to cry and throne again. Some little quietness be paths crooked! Ah, this is dreadful to a

shout, and find prayer shut out; all your gan to possess my heart, and after about living soul. This, in a measure, my mind two hours waiting and seeking, my soul has passed through again and again. And was solidly stayed and comforted with as I travelled home, last Friday, my soul these words

sunk in sorrow;

groaned and cried, yet

found no help, or not enough; I must not “ I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of say, I found none. In this low dungeon the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my the living soul confesses sin, (ver. 42,) but voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, it finds no pardon ; sees nothing in God at my cry. Thou drewest near in the day but anger and judgment. that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear Secondly—'I called upon thy name, O not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes Lord. The name of the Lord is Jesus Christ. of my soul: thou hast redeemed my life. Now, aman is known many ways: sometimes O Lord thou hast seen my wrong: judge by his appearance, if we have seen him bethou my cause." Lam. iii. 55–59.

fore; sometimes by his writings, if we From these words I did derive soul. have read them before ; and sometimes by satisfaction. And I will here give you Christ is known (to living souls) by his ap

his name, though we have never seen him. an outline of my meditations upon pearances, by his voice, by his writings, by them :

his name. Faith in Christ (as a SAVIOUR THERE are three things I can say of these able to save unto the uttermost,) will stay words. (1.) They are the language of a up a living soul, and keep it from wholly real child of God. (2.) They are words sinking, even in the worst of times. “They which describe what my soul has passed that know thy NAME will put their trust in through. (3.) They are descriptive of the thee.” Faith will hang the soul on Christ, condition of many a living soul in this day. and finally sink, it cannot!

First-I may speak of the low dungeon. He hath appeared unto my soul, and I Secondly_Of calling upon the name of the feel bound to believe that with the eye of Lord, out of that low dungeon. Thirdly faith I have seen him, and long to again; How'a soul may know that God hears its by his voice, I heard him saying, unto me voice. Fourthly-of the conflicts and de- | . Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from sires still at work in the soul. Fifthly, the dead; and Christ shall give thee light.' The testimony it bears of delivering mercy This was twenty years ago; and I may say and sustaining power. Sixthly-The ap- he hath given me life; he hath sweetly led peal which the soul makes unto God. And my soul into the love of the truth; and lastly-The request,' Judge thou my cause.' kept me there; although my path has been

First-of the low dungeon. We read of so dark. two dungeons into which Jeremiah was But his name. This is a word descripcast. Read that in Jeremiah xxxviii. 6, 7. tive of what he is. A rich man, is some I may say there are many dungeons into men's name; a physician is another man's which a poor child of God may be thrown. name; a lawyer is another; a Doctor in Bailey says,' a dungeon is the darkest, the Divinity (a curer of souls) are other men's lowest, the most dismal part of the names. But what is Christ's name? See prison. When a poor sinner lays under Acts iv. 10, 11, 12. JESUS CHRIST OF NAthe terrors of God's most righteous law-ZARETH. Á SAVIOUR-ANOINTED OF GOD when he sinks into a sight and sense of the 1-A SEPARATER OF THE PEOPLE. This wickedness of his own heart-when he is is what the living soul calls for To be pressed down under the power of tempta- saved to be separated-to be brought into tion - when God hides his face, clouds' the presence of God. I have found this one thing—that as a sense of sin, and sor. Christ. Before time, he pleaded for us: in row for sin works in my soul, so my soul the fulness of time, he redeemed us; through cries out for the name of Christ, for sal- all the dangers connected with time, he vation, for sanctification, and for holy com- watches over us. munion. Are you in a low dungeon? Is Seventhly-The request. "Judge thou all darkness, uncleanness, dreadful fore- my cause.' My cause is wrapped up in so bodings and distress? Yet, are you com- much mystery, there is so much apparent pelled to breathe, to cry, and to call after sin, and actual sin about it; men are so God ? Surely there is hope for you, sad as ignorant of the hidden springs, both of the your estate may be.

workings of sin in our members, and the Thirdly-But, how may a soul know that workings of grace in the new man, that the Lord has heard his voice? I will tell very often they cannot come to a true judgyou. First, by the whispers of his word. As ment of a man's real condition before God. I was riding home, thinking over my dark Jeremiah, therefore, throws himself upon path, these words came, 'Let him drink, the righteous decision of a holy God,' Judge and forget his poverty, and remember his thou my cause.' I feel I can and may do the misery no more. (Prov.) I felt a little same; and leave him to make manifest the relief, though but little. When I got home true character and determine the eternal I was going to the Lord for a word; as I condition of your poor servant for Christ's drew near, he seemed to meet me with these sake.

C. W. BANKS. words, ' If any man sin, we have an Advo- September, 12, 1848. cate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. This did lift me up a little. So The Lord on His People's Side. you will find that God the Holy Ghost will whisper in such words as will help you. The Lord was on his people's side; And I can tell you these words brought me

And as he was, so he'll abide, where David was, (Ps. cxix. 49, 50, he says,

For nought can change his mind;

What was his will in ages past, "Remember the word unto thy servant,

Will to eternal ages lastupon which thou hast caused me to hope.

He'll prove for ever kind, This is my comfort in my affliction, thy The Lord was on his people's side word hath quickened me.' The words When he the cov'nant did provide which God whispers in become a prop to

With their Redeemer God; the fainting soul; and they quicken or

This cov'nant seal'd and order'd sure,

And still to make it more secure, cause the soul to spring up in hope, faith,

'Twas ratified by blood. and prayer, and strong desire. Thus, I say,

The Lord was on his people's side if God speaks words into your soul, and

When he in mercy diri provide thereby holds you up in hope, in desire,

A sacrifice for sin ; and prayer, depend on it deliverance is not This sacrifice was Christ alone, far off-He may hear, and yet not appear

For none but Christ could thus atone,

And wash his people clean, to notice; nor whisper in any word; but, if thy soul is compelled to cry on, and to sigh

The Lord was on his people's side

When he stern justice satisfied on, he will not forsake you. He will help

And righteousness brought in; you with a little help; although you may When his own arın salvation wrought, neither see his hand, hear his voice, nor When he on Calvary boldly fought, enjoy his presence.

And made an end of sin. Fourthly—The conflicts and desires still The Lord was on his people's side in existence. Hide not thine ear. As When he in pity bled and died though a temptation came in, that God

Upon th' accursed tree;

When he the glorious victory gain d ; would yet forsake. Oh, if God leaves us,

When he redemption's work obtain'd hides his face, closes his ear, all is done

To set his chosen free. and over then, as far as peace and confi- The Lord is on his people's side dence is concerned. Fifthly—The testi

When by his spirit he divides mony concerning past mercies.

Thou

The precious from the vile ; drewest near, thou saidst, Fear not. Here When he eternal life imparts,

And with the blood of Jesus' heart are two things-God draws near in pro

He cleanses the defil'd. vidence supplying us; he draws near in

The Lord is on his people's side mercy, causing us to hope, and then he

When he through storms and tempests guides. speaks so as to remove dreadful fear. These

He strengthens them by grace; two things are exceedingly blessed to be Tho' oft cast down yet not destroy'd, known and noticed in the experience of a For they shall fear and love the Lord, living soul. After a child of God is deli

Their shield and hiding place. vered out of trouble, he can then see how si

The Lord is on his people's side

When he thinks fit his face to hide lently and gently the Lord did draw near

But he will smile again, unto him, and did also kindly support him,

Here is the language of his heartthough at the time no real comfort was " Though hills and mountains may depart, derived.

My love shall still remain. Sixthly–The appeal. Thou hast pleaded Tho' earth and hell 'gainst them unite, the causes of my soul, hast redeemed my The Lord will put them all to flight,

And with his saints abide ! life, hast seen my wrong.? Here faith ex

He'll surely take them home to bliss ! presses the work of Christ. He is a Pleader,

And there they'll sing no song but this à Redeemer, a Watcher. These are the

"The Lord is on our side. three essential characters and works of

Greenwich.

BISHOP

in us.

New Baptist Chapel, Greenwich.

to do alone with the testimony of the Spirit

of God, if we speak not according to that, it The church accustomed to assemble in Lon-is because there is no light, no proper light

We find that the Bible, from Genesis don St. Chapel, Greenwich, under the ministry of Mr. "Gwinnell

, having commenced to Revelations, just goes to prove and set the erection of a much larger, and more com dence of the Lord Jesus Christ—his abstract

forth the eternal self-existence and indepenmodious building in Bridge Street, determined to commemorate the foundation by a

Godhead. And it sets forth, too, the compublic religious service, which was held on

plexity of his character, as God and man--as ihe afternoon of September 25th. The walls the mysterions being in whom eternity and of the edifice having been raised to a con

time are conjoined, whose return is at once siderable height, a platform, covered by an

self-existent and dependent; who was from awning, was raised at one end of the interior, everlasting, and yet who had a beginning. while the space below, and the scaffolding fit and proper foundation on which to rear

Then was the person of Jesus constituted a around were crowded by spectators.

The proceedings commenced at a few the fabric of divine mercy. In connection minutes after three, by the singing of the with his abstract and complex character,

must be considered his pre-mediatorial enhymn

gagements and performances, rendering him "All hail the power of Jesus' name." personally the foundation which God has laid After which an appropriate and fervent prayer

in Zion, was offered by Mr. Moyll, of Peckham. This

2. He is a foundation, relatively consiwas followed by another hymn

dered—that is, as interested in, united to, and “Come let us join our cheerful songs,” &c. called his church his brethren, his family,

identified with his people; sometimes he Mr. Wyard, of Soho, then came forward his people, his household. Upon him does to address the audience. He said, that pro- Jehovah the Father erect his temple of grace, bably many of them had come there, ex- the household of faith. No Jesus, no salvapecting to see the ceremony commonly tion; no Christ, no church; no Lord of life called, " laying the first stone ;' and, indeed, and glory, no eternal life for poor sinners. it was his opinion something of the kind was 3. Christ is a foundation, doctrinally conto take place; and they might be disap- sidered. There is no doctrine contained in pointed at finding such was not the case. the sacred testimony of divine truth, but They had met, however, in this roofless has its original source in him. Suppose we house, this pulpitless chapel, and without so begin with the doctrine of everlasting love. much, it seemed, as a bible to speak from; Jesus says, addressing bis Father, and speakbut many of them, he trusted, had the doc- ing of his people, ' Thou has sent me, and trines and sentiments of that book written in hast loved them, as thou hast loved me;' and their hearts, and exemplified them by their then he adds, “Thou lovedst me before the lives. He would endeavour to address them foundation of the world.” (John xvii. 23, 24.) from the words of the apostle Paul-“For Then the doctrine of God's everlasting love other foundation can no man lay than that is takes its rise in the person and mediation of laid, which is Christ Jesus.” 1 Cor. iii. 11. Christ; and so with his covenant of grace,

The text, taking its natural order, informed Christ is the foundation of that; for it was them three things-- First, that Christ is really with him God entered into covenant, for the a foundation ; secondly, that this foundation future salvation and ultimate eternal blessis laid ; thirdly, that none other foundation edness of poor guilty men ; but for him, can be laid.

there could have been no covenant of grace in He then proceeded to remark

which all the people of God now simultane1. Christ himself is a foundation. He is ously rejoice. If we consider the doctrine of diversely spoken of in sacred testimony election-a doctrine despised and slighted by of truth: sometimes he is represented as 'a some, but cordially embraced, and dearly corner stone,' 'a tried stone, elect and pre- loved by God's Spirit-taught people—we see cious,' 'a stone of the building, and so on ; Christ is also the foundation of that; he is at other times, as the head of a body, as the the root of the eternal choice for we are shepherd of sheep, and a variety of other me- chosen in him before the world began-betaphors introduced by the Holy Ghost to set fore God said, ' Let there be light,' and laid forth his wondrous person, character, and the foundation of this natural earth; a choice achievements, as the Lord of life and glory. that shall stand good for ever, even when the On the present occasion, we have to view heavens shall have been rolled away as a scroll. him as a foundation; and we may notice the So is he the foundation of a sinner's justififollowing few particulars :

cation, whether in the presence of God, to 1. He is a foundation personally. There his own conscience, or in the sight of his may be among those gathered here, some fellow men. And who deny the divinity of Christ, and even Lastly, he is the foundation of pardon, of some who deny his humanity; but we have preservation, of glorification; and through his blood and sufferings we have the forgive- did to procure heaven for us, we should do ness of our sin-by his power we are kept from love to him. The spirit and conduct from falling--and by him shall we be ad- must be the same, the motive and principle mitted into the eternal kingdom. On these different. points we have but touched. If they be Thus then, is Christ the foundation, in amplified to each of you by the Holy Spirit, these several aspects, of salvation--of a salnot only lodged in your head, and retained vation perfectly sovereign, free, and eternal. there, by the power of memory, which may II. Christ is not only the foundation, but only nourish pride and vanity ; but let down he" is laid'' as such. “Behold,” says God, into your heart's affections, then, they will “I lay in Zion a foundation stone." "He was excite humility and love-you will esteem laid in the eternal purpose of God before Christ, indeed, a stone elect and precious, as men or angels had a being, before the heagreater and dearer than any on earth or in vens and the earth were made. That was the heaven.

decree and the design of God, which nothing 4. He is the foundation, moreover, experi- could prevent or alter. All things were ordered mentally considered. All that a christian and arranged for that end. The natural uniman experiences is not christian experience; verse was built, that on it God might rear all that a godly man experiences, is not his spiritual temple, of which Christ was then godliness. There are always in the heart laid as the corner stone, in purpose and deof a believer the two principles, the flesh cree. He was laid by the prophetsby all and the spirit, which continually strive the sacrifices and typical ordinances under one with the other, and will never coa- the law and Mosaic economy. All the invi. lesce, or be at peace ; so that experi- tation and promises made by the prophets ence must be spoken of discriminatively. were made with reference to him, and the There is no experience, after all, worth feel- souls of ancient believers built up on him ; ing or recollecting, which does not wean the as we read, that the saints “are built upon heart from the world, and set the affections the foundation of the apostles and prophets, on things above. And of all such experi- Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner ence, all heavenly and holy emotions, Christ stone." (Eph. xi. 20.) He was laid by the is the source. Faith centres in him—the apostles—in all their preaching, and all their hope of immortal blessedness, and of union epistles, they, as "wise master builders,” laid with the spirits of the just made perfect, this "sure foundation,” and built up the anchors on him-all true love to his truth, church thereupon. And while many have his cause, and his people, flows from, and is built up "wood, hay, and stubble," which concentrated upon him.

shall perish in the "fire that is to try every Lastly, Christ is the foundation, authori- man's work,” all the true and good servants tatively, preceptively, and imitatively. I of Christ in every age of the church down to mean, by saying he is the foundation autho- the present day, have laid him, as the basis ritatively, that whatever is not appointed by of a sinner's hope, as the ground of a saint's him is not to be observed in his church; security. and that whatever he has commanded is to be III. Christ being laid as the foundation, no done. No man has any right to introduce other can be laid. There is no room for any any doctrine, to establish any practice, upon other-blessed be God, there is no necessity his own authority ; it is at his peril to do so. for any other. Man may attempt it, but God On the other hand, no man must depart will not permit it,-

-no Godly man will wish from that which Christ appointed, and the it-the world will never sustain it. He that apostles observed. His doctrines and ordi- builds upon it will never be put to shame ; nances go together, and no power on earth or sin nor satan will not be able to confound in heaven can separate them, or alter them. him; heaven will realize and consummate His commission to his apostles was, to 'go the hopes and anticipations that are based on and teach all nations, baptising them in the this foundation, against which the gates of name of the Father, and the Son, and the hell will never be able to prevail. Holy Ghost; and that is at once the autho- If I had not some pleasing hope, that this rity and obligation of all his servants. He great matter will form more or less, the sum who sent me to preach the gospel, com- and substance of preachment within these manded me also to baptize; and I am bound walls, I could not conscientiously, have counas much to do the one as the other. Pre-tenanced your proceedings to day. As it is ceptively, also, he is the foundation. The -in the belief and expectation that it will injunctions contained in the New Testament be so, I wish you “God speed," in the name are the transcript of his will: and are to be of the Lord. kept from love to him. And he is set be- On the conclusion of Mr. Wyard's address, fore us imitatively. We are to follow in his of which the above is a mere skeleton, Mr. footsteps, to‘mind the same things,' to imi- Gwinnell announced that a tea meeting would tate his example as far as it is imitable; but be held in the old chapel. with this difference, he did it meritoriously; After prayer by Mr. Abbott, the large aswe cannot, must not attempt it. What he'sembly dispersed.

« PreviousContinue »