Page images

powerful flood of divine wrath broke in upon the mind of my son John, and how greatly all of you must must have been alarmed to see him move before his wife and children, and from one part of the city to another, like a maniac, I here send you a few lines by way of condolence.

My dear souls, for you in your present distress I deeply sympathise, and hope that he will by and bye allay the surges of your mind, and in their stead send a calm, out of which may spring a surface as placid and serene as a May morning. The Lord alone doeth wondrous things, for he hath already turned bitter waters into sweet, and out of the eater brought forth meat and now from the present thunderstorm he can bring to our view a Pacific Ocean, and this I hope he will do, and in the same cause us to rejoice. In this sin-disordered world, however, we may consider ourselves sons and daughters of affliction; but in that bright world where God and angels dwell it will be otherwise. I long to see you and to talk to John, but at present my engagements are such that I cannot be with you under three or four weeks.

I am here in the midst of warm-hearted and undissembled brethren and friends; but there are some few false and hypocritical professors, and here and there a preacher among them, all lying in ambush to shoot at me; and they do shoot, and rave, and belie, and vilify me at a nad rate. I wish some one of you to write to me immediately, and direct to the care of General J. C. King, Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Your's in love, J. O.

Therefore, under a deep sense of the gracious and special favour of our covenant God to us, as a branch of his Zion, we desire to acknowledge his manifold mercies; for, notwithstanding we have been marked and pecked at as a speckled bird nearly ever since we gave our present beloved minister a call to preach to us in the name of the Lord, yet the Lord has been our refuge and present help in our times of trouble; blessed be his holy name, he has not given us up to the will of our enemies; nor has he dealt with us as some of our sister churches have done, who have cast us off, refusing to hold fellowship with us, by not dismissing removing members to us; this we wish to leave in the hands of the Lord, thankful the offence is not our's, for as a church, we acted cautiously and conscientiously in our movements and choice of our esteemed pastor, Mr. Nunn, and we desire to bless and praise the name of our covenant God that we were ever directed to hear his voice.

Previous to the Lord sending him among us our harps had long been hung on the willows, and many times we had wept at the low estate of our Zion-the blasting winter breath had left us almost


a withering tree; some of us held together praying and hoping that the Lord, in his mercy, would appear again for our deliverance, but hope long deferred had made our hearts faint; empty pews, heavy expences, finances exhausted, these, with burdened hearts, had brought us almost to the conclusion of giving up our house of prayer, hardly knowing how to keep it open, when the Lord, in his boundless mercy, 'heard our groanings, and came down to deliver us,' by calling, in his all-wise providence, Mr. Nunn to preach in our neighbourhood. Several of our number heard the word delivered by him, with great sweetness; the news soon spread, and it was proposed that he should be invited to preach at Beulah. But from various reports, the mind of some were double barred against his ever coming to preach among

How vastly different the state of capti-us; but in the good providence of our vity to that of liberty, either of a church God, those friends were induced to go or a single individual; how delightfully and hear for themselves; the word was blessed, therefore, when Jehovah, by his sealed home with power, the strong bars Almighty power and gracious applica- of prejudice were completely broken, tion, causes the soul of a believer to re- their hearts filled with holy joy, and thus vive as the corn, and grow as the vine; a oneness of mind and heart was felt for nor is it less blessed when it is seen and Mr. James Nunn to preach the word of realized by a body of Christians. the Lord to us.

The Harp taken down from the Willow.


DEAR MR. EDITOR:-It was said of old, "When the Lord turned the captivity of Zion, we were like those that dream." The tongue was employed in singing, "The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Psa. cxxvi. As a church we feel impressed, from the singular kindness of the Lord manifested to us, as a people, that we are called upon to give thanks publicly, in acknowledging his goodness and mercy towards


Previous to his doing so, two of the deacons waited upon some neighbouring ministers who had been intimately acquainted with Mr. Nunn for years; they spoke so very highly of him that all difficulties were at once removed, and we immediately invited him to preach to us in the name of the Lord.

Finally, Mr. Nunn came; the Lord was evidently with him to bless him and us. The water of life flowed freely, sweetly, and blessedly once more in our sanctuary, through his ministry; souls were refreshed, gladdened, and comforted; the cold shivering feelings of winter began to pass away, and the voice of the turtle was again heard in our land, through the atoning blood, and complete righteousness of our once crucified, but now reigning Lord; by the gracious power and operation of the Holy Spirit. The tree of life bent its boughs heavily laden with precious fruits; faith was brought into lively exercise. Many plucked fruit and enjoyed its invigorating power and blessedness. The healing virtue of its leaves were experienced by many; and a goodly number have been pricked to the heart, and brought to tell of the Lord's goodness and mercy towards them, through the ministry of our beloved pastor.

On Thursday evening, the 27th of July last, we were called to witness a heart cheering scene, our place of worship filled with orderly spectators, to behold twenty four persons walk in the footsteps of their Lord, in the ordinance of believer's baptism. This made the fourth time the ordinance had been administered by our pastor within the space of twelve months. During the four years Mr.Nunn has been with us, the dear Lord has added to our number one hundred and twenty persons, whom we hope are trees of his own right-hand planting-filling our

house with attentive hearers; and we have every reason to believe that many of their number are longing to say "the Lord is my salvation."

Amidst all these favours, we have had our portion of bitter herbs wisely and mercifully mixed, though in their working, we could not see how they would end; but we have in some degree learned what our pastor has often repeated:

"That every dark and bending line Meets in the centre of his (Jehovah's) love,"

and that

"His flock his own peculiar care,
Tho' now they seem to roam uneye'd,
Are led or driven only where,
They best and safest may abide.”

Our affliction has been greatly increased by the various reports circulated against our esteemed pastor. Our deacons have searched into these reports, and were much grieved to find that ministers, deacons, and members of various churches, have joined in reporting, what they had not even the least shade of evidence to support; and some driven so close that they were obliged to confess, that they knew not from whom they had received the things they had reported. These are awful and lamentable things to exist in the Zion of God. "If it had been an enemy we could have borne it,” said one of old.

testify, that our beloved pastor, through We feel great pleasure that we can the grace of God, during his connection

with us, has been enabled to walk before us worthy of our example; we speak not this to the praise of man, but to the glory of our God; but it gives us great joy that we can thus honestly, as in the sight of our Lord, stand forth to witness, ourselves and our beloved pastor. Notwhat he has mercifully done, both for withstanding, feeling as we do, the weakness of our fallen nature, the wickedness of our hearts, the necessity of the blessed Spirit, to keep us right and fruitperpetual gracious operations of the ful in every good word and work, our earnest desire and prayer to the God of sake us; hold thou us up, and we shall our mercies are, "leave us not, nor forbe safe," praying thus, by the power flesh, the world, and the devil, to the of our God, to be preserved from the glory of his holy name. May the dear Lord thus mercifully bless and keep us, with yourself and the readers of your magazine, is the earnest desire of

[blocks in formation]

John Bradford's Conversion.

FROM the first number of "Bunhill Memorials," we make the following extract :

"Mr. Bradford was in the early part of his life a minister in the Established Church, and curate of Frilsham, in Berkshire. From his own confession we have it, that during that time he was an avowed Arian, and denied the Divinity of Christ. But when the Spirit of God regenerated, and made him a new creature, he then acknowledged that no man, by human wisdom, can understand the Scriptures; but, that the Holy Ghost himself must open them to the renewed mind. 'I was writing,' said he,' a sermon from these words, Ye must be born again. I now felt as I never felt before. I had sins presented to my mind, which I had never thought of, and never considered to be sins: and this sin in particular, that I wore the livery and received the pay of a minister of the gospel, whereas I was only an hireling. I now saw that I must be born again; I was convinced of the necessity of the new-birth, and cried earnestly that I might experience the reality. I never finished the sermon I had begun; but, instead thereof, I burned most, if not all, my old sermons. I was before that time an Arian. The first relief I felt was from a view that Jesus Christ was God. I heretofore had not doubted but that such a man as Jesus Christ had lived; I did not behold him as God; his deity I now see as the ground of all my christian confidence. I went to preach the next Sunday from what I felt, and the effect was wonderful. No less than five persons were awakened under that sermon.

"His immortal spirit" (saith the inscription on his stone) "ascended to God, July 16, 1805, in the 55th year of his age, Born of a spiritual birth, he lived the sweet life of faith on the Son of God; and, with that ardour of affection, and warmth of zeal for undefiled religion peculiar to a minister called of God, he publicly and boldly declared those things which he had seen and heard; to the refutation of detestable error, the liberation of sensible sinners from the galling chains of legality, and, to the establishment of many christians in the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus. The substance of whose preaching was-man nothing but sin, and Christ all in all in the great salvation of his elect !"

Smiting a Neighbour.

"Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly." Deut. xxvii. 24.


cy, The Lord is my refuge-a very present help in this time of trouble.' Beset I am all around with many of satan's tools, putting on the garb of saints; and then again, I have within a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan to buffet me.' But hitherto, blessed be God, his grace has supported me; and I trust he will yet support me, though I walk in the midst of troubles and weakness, yet I know Jehovah's strength is perfect on my behalf. It is strange and painful to find that those that hold the doctrine of a free grace salvation should be no better employed than to raise any disrespectful thing they may think of, and report the same as though true; but so I find to be the case with respect to myself. There are persons who attend Abingdon, Wantage, and Wallingford, many of them who never saw me, and therefore never heard me preach; and yet they give the most contradictory statements; some asserting that I am an Arminian, others that I am an Antinomian, that I hold persons may live in any sin if they come to hear me, some assert that I cut off all mourning souls, and souls that are in real trouble. Now, brother Banks, I know if the Lord had cut off such, I myself should long ago have been cut off; but this I know, there is no real comfort for troubled souls but as they are led to Jesus by precious faith. Self-pity will never give comfort (nor yet the pity of others) to us; but the love of Christ shed abroad in the heart will give peace in the midst of trouble. Brother B. you got the tidings that you disappointed a whole barn full of persons at Steventon, which was not true; for although persons asserted that you were to be there on a certain evening, yet not one individual person put confidence in the assertion, so as to be there; but if you had come, and we had given proper notice thereof, the barn might have been filled. On my return from London, I found the father of all lies had been at work as usual; it was circulated both here and around us, that you would have been at Steventon on the said evening but that I wrote a letter to you to prevent your coming. Now whatever slander might have been raised against me, I have generally kept silent; but in this case, as a reproof to the first inventors of the falsehood, it will be well for you to contradict the same in the next Vessel. May our God overrule the same to his own glory. Your's in the bonds of love,


BROTHER B-:-I am still living in the midst of troubles; and wonder when the trying scene will end; but I am persuaded not till I put off my tabernacle. I have one mer

Baptist Minister, Sutton Courtney. [Brother Randle, I will only just say, I am grieved that such wickedness should exist among the professors of godliness, but I find it every where abounds. So far from your hindering me from coming to Steventon, you have always pressed me to come when I could. But I could neither find time nor mind to come at the period referred to; so I left it, as I ever desire to leave all these things, in the hands of the Lord.-C. W. B.]

A Bunch of Grapes.

Beloved EditOR:-I have sent you one out of the many bunches of grapes which my late valued and venerable pastor brought down from the heavenly Canaan. Believe me your soul's well-wisher and fellow traveller to a better home.

W. A. HALL. 55, Upper Marylebone St., Portland Place. 66 Christ has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers, and the doors will not be shut until the last elect vessel of mercy is safely housed. Faith in the atonement-love to the atoner and an hatred to sin, will damn no man. The christian can never loose any thing from this world's stock without God sending a permit; his interest also in eternal realities is above loss-death itself cannot meddle with high things.

day, June 25th." London: Benjamin L. Green.

"The christian's object of adoration is selfexistent; who never began to be, and will never cease to be; who has all life in himself and of himself, and cannot be loved and adored without advantage. God never intended that the comforts he bestows upon us in this lower world, should be as curtains let down to hide his face, for every kind providence has a voice, 'Remember me.' God never puts a man in the cruci-“Prayer, by the Rev. Joseph Irons, on Sunble without design, and when he can see his own face in the silver he will put the fire out. Regeneration lays the foundation of all spiritual obedience, and whenever the Spirit becomes an operator, the Saviour becomes an object. The certainty of salvation is wrapt up in the glorification of the Saviour. The Lord wisely postpones our triumphs for a time, until he is pleased to send for us to chaunt his praises before the blazing throne. Christ could not be a saviour without being a sufferer; he knew before hand what his wedding-day would cost him. All the trials of the christian are but expressions of a father's care, and what he will not prevent, he will help us to bear. Holiness without Christ is a dream; faith without Christ is a fancy. A defective religion is a religion the devil traffics with, and will melt like a snow ball under a burning sun. Christ was made the first born of all the Father's house, the great Lord of the establishment, the primitive heir of all the family, the person in whom the whole church is involved, the pattern of the house standing in his humanity, and the glory of the house in his divinity."

[merged small][ocr errors]

but that the work will be interesting and valuable to the churches of Christ generally. Beside the names of the ministers, we have the denomination they were connected with, the scenes of their labours; the time of their departure out of this world of sorrow; and occasionally some little historical, experimental, and practical features connected with the time-standing of several eminent servants of God, which will render it not only useful as a book of reference, but valuable as a Literary Monument of the faithfulness of our covenant God in keeping up in every age, preserving, and making use of a succession of men who have served their day and generation in the ministry of the gospel, and have then entered into rest.

There is one thing in the work which we do not like; and we have received a letter from a Christian brother, expressing his disapprobation of the same: it is the mixing up Unitarian ministers with the "blessed living dead." We do not believe that Unitarians ought ever to be reckoned among the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ: and we do trust the Editor will be constrained to confine himself to the recording of such men, and such only as were contenders for the faith once delivered unto the saints.

This is the title of a smart looking little book that has been sent to us for review: and whether we offend or please, we will say, this beats everything in the way of publishing that ever we yet met with. "What!" we said, "have they now begun to publish Joseph Irons's prayers, as well as his sermons?" Yes! verily it is true; and truly disgusted are we at this most abominable trafficking with the house and worship of God. Will Mr. Irons countenance reporters in his chapel on a Lord's-day morning to take down his prayers, in order that his printer may dress them up in beautiful borders and coloured wrappers, and then sell" MR. IRONS'S PRAYERS THREE-PENCE EACH?" If this is not worse than Popery a thousand times, we are deceived.


Only imagine, for a moment-Mr. Irons, in the Lord's house, on the Lord's-day solemnly engaged in prayer to Almighty God, and close beside him, a reporter employed to take down the prayer, in order that it may be published. Will the churches countenance such a thing? Ah, that they will; because it is Mr. Irons's. Well, we say -although we know we shall bring down the wrath of hundreds of professors upon our heads, for this declaration-we care not. We say, it is an act against which every God-fearing man ought to lift up his voice. We are solemnly persuaded a Holy God will never countenance such proceedings and we beseech Mr. Collingridge to pause, ere he persists in such unholy traffic.

Am I One of the Church of Christ?



Your letter of the 15th of June, I got safe, and rejoice in the mercy of our God so freely bestowed, maintained and expressed. The Earthen Vessel, I find, reminded you of gone by days, while on its pages you perused my Lily among Thorns.' The fire appeared to burn while you ran through ten years of mercies with a feeling peculiar to those only in whose heart the Holy Ghost acts the part of a 'remembrancer.' I find I baptized you on Good Friday, 1838, with three others; since that time how many changes we have seen, the Lord only knows, yet in some measure, I trust, lessons of benefit have been taught, and since you have ventured to step with me on board the Earthen Vessel unpressed, and volunteer to meet with her, and me, the dangers of the winds and sea to which she is and will be exposed, I am not ashamed of the vessel in which I have had a berth kindly granted me, nor of you, should you pass the quarter-deck, and be mustered among the crew.

I find, dear David, the time of your first feeling the power of God attending the word to your soul, excites both joy and grief in your mind. I am glad it is so; you speak of your trammels then being knocked off; how you then longed for the Sabbath; the liberty you felt; how your affections were raised to things above, and then you could and did run in the ways of God with pleasure and delight, &c.; and up to this day you say you look upon me as the instrument, and since you say so, I believe so; to our God be all the glory. But seven years have nearly rolled away since you left my ministry, and business led you to leave Cambridge. Six years, last March, I solemnized marriage between you and your dear wife, to whom also I have hope my God made my poor labours a blessing. Cares of various kinds have arrested you, such as business, which, with all its inconveniencies, must be properly attended to, Rom. xii. 11. The world, also, while we are in it, is to be used and not abused, 1 Cor. vii 31. The church is complete in Christ, Col. ii. 10.; if I thought otherwise, I should have to undo all that I tried to prove on Lord's day last, while preaching to my people VOL. IV.-PART XLV.-Oct. 1848.


from Heb. x. 15, For by one offering
he hath perfected for ever them that
are sanctified.' But I bless my God he
hath done it; it is so, and you know,
dear David, I have for years past been
honest enough to say that what the Lord
doeth standeth fast for ever. No, no, the
church is safe enough, that never trou-
bles me, my trouble is, am I of the
church? I believe through his sweet
grace I am, but believe me, my son, be-
fore my God, my greatest trouble this
day is, because I have walked and worked
so unlike a true son of the church. Pray
don't be troubled about the church; perhaps
you mean a church; if so, I can sympa-
thize with you, and weep I would day
and night between porch and altar, and
pray him in mercy not to remove the
golden candlestick, but to snuff and trim
it until the brightness thereof go forth as
a lamp that burneth, by day as well as by
night. And what of the devil, and what
of self, you say there is plenty to dis-
courage; that there is indeed, and so I
find it; but do you know my sorest
plague, and most hateful foe, is my own
self; not that I am without foes of various,
yea, I believe, of every kind; but that sort
of thing I can leave with the Almighty
Jesus, who looks on, governing the whole
to his own glory, and at times filling
them with confusion and disappointment,
and while I have had to learn, 'the men
of this confederacy have brought me
even to the border; 'the men that were
at peace with me have deceived me, and
prevailed against me; they that did eat
my bread, have laid a wound under me.'
Obad. vii. I firmly believe some have
been convinced, and others will be,' For
their violence against their brother Jacob,
shame shall cover them.' I feel per-
suaded my prayer for them at this early
hour of five in my study, is as profitable
for me and them, as all they have, or can
say or do will ever be, and hence you see
'Had I not a throne of grace to go to,
and a friend to tell my rising grief and
tale of woe, I should be of all men the
most miserable; but glory to my lovely
Saviour, he is my friend, my throne of
grace, and he does hold my eyes waking
and draws me to himself at times with a
Lord, make me more humble, tell me


« PreviousContinue »