Page images

could arise from this pamphlet but a wavering, doubting prayer, which is an abomination in God's sight; and which, St. James tells us, a man is not to think he shall have granted. A few years subsequent to the circulation of this tract it pleased the Lord to open Mr. Irving's eyes, in preaching on the mysteries set forth by the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, to see that the church had a right to, and ought to possess, all the power which her risen Lord had obtained for her; and he taught his flock accordingly. Soon afterwards, Mr. A. Scott, the missionary of Mr. Irving's Church, preached the same truth in Scotland; which commending itself to the hearts of many people, who found it agreeable to the Scriptures, they prayed for the restoration of all the power to the church which Christ bequeathed to her, and which she ought always to have exhibited. These prayers were soon answered by the raising of some from a bed of sickness pronounced by the physicians to be remediless; shortly afterwards by the speaking in tongues, and próphesying. This report coming to England, some persons went down to examine into it; and, being satisfied that the work was of God, prayed also that they might have faith to glorify the name of Jesus, by exhibiting him as Lord over disease, and the Teacher still of his church. Many persons in England were raised, as we shewed in the last number of this Journal, and several others are now speaking in tongues, and edifying the church by prophesying.

Such, then, being the plain history of the present manifestations, we call upon the religious world to answer these questions. They have invoked the whole Christian community to pray for the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, according to the promise of God given in Joel-limited, indeed, by a curtailment not warranted by the words of the promise, but still their prayer was grounded on the promise-for a prayer which is not grounded on a promise is presumption and fanaticism, and therefore their prayer must have been founded on this promise, or they did not pray at all. Did they, then, pray honestly in their prayer-meetings established for this very end, or did they not? If they did not, they have been most fearful mockers of God; they have "offered the sacrifice of fools;" they have insulted Him by hypocritical requests which they cared not whether GOD granted or not. If, on the other hand, they have prayed honestly; if their prayer-meetings have been held in sincerity; if they have been really desirous that the poor should unite, and that the whole catholic church should lift up one simultaneous cry that should bring down the PECULIAR OUT-POURING, and in a SPECIAL MANNER, of the Holy Ghost upon us; then let them tell us whether their prayers have been answered or not.

If they tell us that their prayers have not been answered,

[blocks in formation]

although offered up with such earnestness and unity of consent by the whole body, then do they testify that God is a God who does not hear and answer prayer; then do they represent Him as one upon whom it is useless to call; then do they tell the world that matters continue just as they would whether men pray to Him or not, even for the bestowal of that which He has previously promised to give.

If they tell us that their prayers have been answered by a greater effusion of the influences of the Holy Ghost, for which alone they prayed; and not by the appearance of the Holy Ghost in Person, which they did not want; nor by any of the miraculous circumstances promised in Joel, which they did not desire to have; then let them tell us where those influences are manifested and seen. Is it by the Evangelical Bishops and Clergy of the Church of England and Dissenters joining in receiving preachers of the God-denying apostasy as "Christian ministers," “reverend brethren," and acknowledging their ordination to the office of pastor to be as much of the Holy Ghost as their own? Is it in the newly avowed determination of the Dissenters to destroy all legal provision for the religious instruction of the people, while they avow at the same time that "Dissent cannot coalesce with pauperism?" Is it in the increased contempt with which ministers of Jesus Christ, of every denomination, whether Bishops or Methodist parsons, are treated by the people, while Socinians and Papists are treated with increased regard? Is it in the withholding of Parliamentary assistance from those schools in which the Bible is taught, and the encouragement of schools from which the Bible is excluded? Is it in, with the exception of France, the refusal of this nation alone, which boasts of its religion beyond all other people, to implore God to avert the pestilence at the approach of which all hearts quail, while prayers have been made for that end in the Popish, Greek, and other Protestant churches? Is it in the avowal of the temporal ministers of God, that blasphemy may be blazoned in our streets, and that God's Name and his Son's Name may be held up to public derision with impunity? Is it in the fact, that, while every pot-wallopper in the land is stung to madness at the fancied insult to men of a mock election for a Member of Parliament, not one voice is lifted up at the insult offered to God by the mockery of a congè d'élire of bishops? Is it in the avowal of the most accredited organs of the religious world, that we must believe any solution of a miracle rather than admit that God has answered the prayer of faith, offered up to him in the name of His Son, for the cure of disease? Is it in the burning desire that is testified now-on a report prevailing that God the Holy Ghost is really resident in men, and making himself visible in his temple-to find out that such report is

false; so that when the religious world think they have got some proof that He is really not here, they exult as having obtained a most valuable prize?

If these are not the fruits of the unseen influences which have been accorded in answer to the prayers of the religious world, then let them state where they are to be found; unless, as with their doctrine in respect of miracles, they are under a moral incapacity to perceive an answer to prayer, even when they obtain it. If, however, they cannot point out one single fact, which is even tolerably plausible to themselves, as the answer to their prayers, then do we with confidence assert, that God has been more bountiful than men desired; that He has given them more than they asked or wished for; that He has fulfilled the promise of Joel to them in the full sense in which he gave it, and not in the dishonouring limitation which men had put upon it: and we point, without the possibility of refutation, to the cure of diseases, to the speaking with tongues, and to prophesying, as the proof that our prayers have been heard and answered. And if the religious world will now tell us, that these miraculous cures and speaking with tongues and prophesying are Satanic delusions, then does the religious world testify of the God and Father of Jesus Christ, not only that he is a God who does not answer prayer, but a God who, when he is asked for bread, gives a stone who is more cruel than wicked men are to their children -who, when asked for His Holy Spirit which he promised to. give, sends in His stead the devil to take possession of their hearts! Then is the religious world no witness for God's faithfulness, nor for God's truth, nor for God's love: then does it bear witness that the character of the God and Father of Jesus Christ is the reverse of all this: then does it bear witness that He is not a God who can be confided in, but a God who deceives -not a God who sends blessings when asked for them, but a God who sends curses: then is the religious world not the body or church of Christ, for the principal office of that body is to bear testimony that God is a God who cannot lie.

We, on the other hand, do believe, that if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, much more will our Father in heaven, who is the only Good One, give us his Holy Spirit in power, for which we have asked him. We will put confidence in God, that He will neither deceive us himself nor suffer us to be deceived by Satan. We will humble ourselves. under His mighty wisdom, and, confessing our ignorance, yield ourselves up to His guidance in whatever way He may please to lead us. We will not prescribe to Him; but, keeping a conscience clean by the blood of Jesus, and hiding ourselves under the shadow of His Cross from the strife of men's tongues, and walking in the footsteps of Jesus, keep our garments undefiled,

leave in his hands the issue of our faithful testimony to the power of the risen God-man; being assured, that, let the fire of the furnace be heated ever so hot, One like the Son of Man will be with us, and that the smell of fire shall not pass upon us, while it will slay them that heat the furnace.


IN recording the cases of healing which have come under our own knowledge, we have uniformly maintained, from Scripture, that all the gifts of the Holy Ghost ought to be still manifested in the church, as the promise of their continuance is often given in the largest terms, and has never been repealed. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end," saith our Lord: and in what manner, he himself declares, saying, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever....I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you." "Go ye, teach all nations.... And these signs shall follow them that believe." "The promise is to you, and to your children, and to them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." From these, and many such passages in Scripture, we assert, that the promise of the gifts of the Holy Ghost is to all people, however far off, whom the Lord shall call; to all nations that believe;-and to abide for ever with the church, till He, whose absence the Comforter supplies, shall return; till the second coming of Christ, in glory.

These plain declarations of Scripture are set aside by many, under the influence of two false, but plausible, arguments: one, an appeal to historic facts; the other, a warning against Popery. Both arguments are false; for Scripture may not be set aside, even though its fulfilment should not be recorded, or though its doctrines should be perverted to the establishment of error. But we meet the arguments by a denial of the facts on which they are grounded, and assert that miracles have always been in the church, and are to be traced through every period, though, from the unbelief of historians, they form no prominent part of church history; and that many of the Popish miracles are true, not as attesting or sanctioning their superstitious doctrines, but proving that God has a people in that idolatrous and apostate church even unto the last; who, just before the destruction of Babylon, are commanded by the angel to "come out of her" which shews indisputably that there are children of God in the Papal church even to the end.

We have said, more than once, that hundreds and thousands of the poor and despised people of Christ have been endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and many proofs of this are

given in a preceding part of this Number. We now give the details of a cure as strikingly miraculous as that of Miss Fancourt; a cure occurring in London; notorious to the whole court of William and Mary; investigated by the physicians of the Queen; examined by several bishops, of whom Burnet was one; sworn before the Lord Mayor, and at Doctors' Commons; minutely detailed by Dr.Welwood, in a letter to the Lady Mayoress; and all handed down to us by descendants of the party cured, now living in London: yet this case, so complete in all its parts, has never, we believe, found its way into history, that history to which appeal is made in order to reverse or lower the declarations of Scripture. If a cure so remarkable and so public as this has not been recorded, we should be warranted in the inference that many less notorious, but equally miraculous, have been omitted or suppressed; and we hold it to be quite puerile to maintain, on grounds which, if we had no such cases as the present, would be but negative, so monstrous a proposition as that the word of God is to be kept in abeyance till we have historic facts to confirm it. But the whole argument itself becomes monstrous and intolerable when we actually have such cases as this upon record to refute it: for any argument founded on the absence of facts, is as completely refuted by one fact as by a million: the assertion made by our opponents, that miracles did not continue beyond the times of the Apostles, is completely falsified by one such case as the following. But the false assumption, that miracles were but for a time, being thus refuted, the whole fabric of delusion, of which it is the key-stone, falls at once; the modern distinctions between ordinary and extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit, between answers to prayer and miracles, and such-like refuges of unbelief, are exposed and brought to light; and every honest heart feels that the prayer of faith is still omnipotent with the Father, and that his children may ask whatsoever they will from the treasury of the promises of God, and, asking in faith, in the name of Jesus Christ, it shall be done unto them. But let each one be assured that his faith rests on the word of God, and not on his own desires then let him plead the promise, and God will reply, "Be it unto thee according to thy faith.”

"An exact Relation of the wonderful Cure of Mary Maillard, Wife of the Rev. Mr. Henry Briel, who was Lame for the first thirteen Years of her Life: and the Manner in which she was instantly healed, without the Use of any human Application, after a Cure was esteemed impossible by the best Judges.

"The following relation contains an account of the wonderful cure of Mary Maillard, daughter of Mr. John Maillard and Mrs. Charlotte du Dognon. She was born at Coignac, in

« PreviousContinue »