Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ness.

Precious in all His offices as Prophet, Priest, and King. Precious in all His names, in all His promises, in His word, ways, and ordinances. Thus, we might find in each of the relations and offices which the Lord sustains to His people, that which would endear Him to our souls, and enshrine Him within our hearts; as,

“ The fairest of ten thousand fairs,

A sun amongst ten thousand stars." II. Let us now for a moment or two glance at the characters to whom Christ is precious.

For he is not precious to all. The world outside esteem Him not. "To the Jews he is a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks, foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God." “Unto you, therefore, which believe, He is precious.

Christ is precious to faith, which is a special gift of grace, wrought by the Holy Spirit in the heart of one born of God, whereby He is enabled, under a sense of his own ruined and undone condition, to cast himself on Christ for life and salvation-according to the promises of the Gospel. Never shall we forget the time when we first realized this in our own sin-oppressed soul. Notice

1. Faith enables the soul to cast itself upon Christ. The very nature of faith is a recumbency of the soul upon Christ. Cleaving to Him for salvation. Casting all its burdens upon Him. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

2. Faith is the spiritual eye of the soul. It sees Christ, and as Éis excellencies and beauties are unfolded, He becomes an object of endearment to the heart. It beholds Him the matchless, peerless one, His beauty eclipsing, His glory outshining, all other beings. It sees majesty in His meanness, dignity in His condescension, honour in His humiliation, beauty in His tears, transcendent surpassing glory in His cross. Yes,

3. He is precious to them that believe, because Christ is just the

Saviour the poor sin-burdened, lawcondemned sinner feels to need. Here the Saviour's fulness meets his empti

Here he finds blood to cleanse, righteousness to justify, peace to sanctify, love to quicken, sympathy to soothe and succour. A salvation that saves him from the charge, the punishment, the guilt, the love and the dominion of sin, saves him with a present and with an everlasting salvation.

How precious is Christ! Oh for the faith of appropriation ! says the trembling believer, so as to say, “My beloved is mine, and I am His.” Ask, and shall not the blessing be yours ? How frequently has the faith of appropriation been realized at the throne of grace, and in the pathway of sanctified affliction and sorrow. The discipline of love has detached us from sublunary joys, and made the heart to glow with celestial fire; ardently longing to enjoy larger communion with Him, the blest object of our love.

4. Looking back, then, how precious Christ has been ! At the time of our call by grace; public profession of faith in His name by baptism, union with the church, in the hour of trial, of temptation, of affliction, of bereavement,-in all the way the Lord our God has led us.

5. Looking forward, may we find, as every step is taken, every service performed, Christ to be increasingly precious. May the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Comforter, enables us to commit our souls and all our affairs into His hands, to live constantly near Him, and in sweet fellowship with Him, and to devote ourselves cheerfully to His service.

Oh may we value Jesus above all others. A martyr was asked whether he did not love his wife and children who stood weeping by: “Love them !” said he, “ Yes, if all the world were gold, and at my disposal, I would give it all for the satisfaction of living with them, were it in a prison; yet in comparison with Christ, I love them not. Oh! the all-absorbing nature of Christ's love; the soul under its constraining influence, says,

" Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” “Precious Jesus, O, how loving art Thou to my

longing heart: Never, never let me grieve Thee, ne'er from

Thée let me depart, Precious Jesus! *All in all to me thou art.”

“ PIETY.”

(1 Tim. v. 4.) For some period past it sufficed the Strict Baptists as a body to be acknowledged as the followers of the great reformer, Calvin; but having lived long enough to sur int the excellencies of that celebrated man and his “Institutes,” they are now better known and distinguished by the half-mystical prefix-hyper. As a part of that Christian community, we are not unwilling to accept the full and gracious appellation, as it appears evident to some of us that ere long the distinctive doctrines of hyperCalvinism will be more in actual use, if not more fashionable, than heretofore! And the day is not far distant when the professing church will become surfeited with the sickly sentimental " duty-love," and milk-andwater piety, which everywhere abounds. Some will no doubt say, great is thy faith!”

There are persons in the camp who are crying about the Strict Baptists dying out: our belief is not of that order. If they do die, phoenix like, they will live again; and out of their ashes will rise a new race of a most pronounced evangelical type. Universal charity, duty-faith, and other questionable virtues are often used in effecting pious frauds, of which the church requires radically purging. We are not a little suspicious of the genuineness of that religion, which is the more outcome of polite taste and of good breeding, unassociated with the new birth- a clean heart and a right spirit.” Real religion begins at home i.e., the heart), and that is the gist of the meaning of “piety," The

word, as is well known, is mentioned but once in the scriptures (1 Tim. V. 4), and which points mainly to the necessity of domestic worship, and the honour which parents may reasonably expect from their children. The apostle's words,“ to shew piety at home,” have a literal meaning as well as a spiritual one; namely, that the young learn to repay a just debt due to their parents for their former care, and present attention to them. Dean Alford, after considering the context, infers that the exhortation is to parents that they “rule religiously their households," and also means " to honour with the honour God commands.'

Pringle, in his translation of Calvin's Commentary, remarks, on this passage, that,

- almost all the commentators take the verb eusebein in an active sense, because it is followed by an accusative; but that (says one author) is not a conclusive argument, for it is customary with the Greek authors to have a preposition understood. And this exposition agrees well with the context. Calvin speaks of a

“secondary piety," or “human piety," which in his estimation “ leads to the highest piety." This expression, however, must be received with caution, though it comes from a great mind. Calpin also considers that Paul saw the very rights of nature were being violated under the pretence of religion; and in order to correct this fault, he (the apostle) commanded “ that widows should be trained by a domestic apprenticeship to the worship of God.” In the highest sense of the word, "piety” is only another name for godliness, or personal religion, which consists in a firm belief and in right conception of the being and attributes of God, with an experimental knowledge of the love of Christ shed abroad in the heart, or as one says, with suitable affections to Christ, resemblance of His moral perfections and constant obedience to His divine will. It is much to be regretted, that, in not a few cases, family worship is greatly neglected. And anything bordering

D

on outward obedience to the commands piety at home." It is 'much desired of God is regarded as legal and irk- that these few very plain words may some; instead of which, it is the most be received in the same loving spirit pleasing and profitable part of our in which they are written. religious liberty when we are favoured Waltham Abbey. W. WINTERS. to worship the God we love in spirit and in truth. And this sweet freedom Our esteemed correspondent, whose contriis as often realized at the family altår,

butions to this magazine we value, does not,

we hope, refer to members of Strict Baptist as when in the more public acts of

Churches, as ignoring all pretensions to family devotion in the house of God. As far

prayer, and even to giving of thanks at meal as the families of the godly poor are times. Our own experience has been of a far .concerned, there are many things we

different kind in relation to Christians of our are certain that interfere with family

own denomination. Born and brought up among

the community, and nearly fifty years in churchworship, and there are not a few per

membership with it, we can truly say that we sons, members of Christian churches, bave not met with such individuals in it as who ignore all pretensions to it, and those described by our friend. Godly, devoat, even to the giving of thanks at the prayerful, kind, benevolent, and ready for every -table at meal times. Some deeply

good work, just, upright, and sternly moral, as

well as being earnestly concerned to be sound in taught” Christians have no sympathy

the faith, are words that aptly describe the with Sabbath Schools, and object to character of hundreds upon hundreds of members the teaching of their children a short of our churches, whom we have known in the form of prayer to repeat before re- course of our pilgrimage. Exceptions in various tiring to rest. And to urge their

forms, have been met with, and such at times little ones to attend divine service

as rendered expulsion necessary and proper ;

but none so utterly destitute of any semblance would be considered by them a breach

even of natural religion as “not giving thanks of custom, as if they were afraid the at meals."-Ed. Lord would convert them too soon, and own and sanctify the means they

THE HAPPY MAN. might put forth. The Lord work's salvation in the souls of His children THE happy man was born in the in His own time and way, but that city of Regeneration, in the parish of should not deter us from using all Repentance unto life. He was edulawful means to bring them under cated in the school of Obedience, and the sound of the gospel, which may, now lives in the plain of Perseverunder the blessing of God, be sooner ance: he works at the trade of Dilior later sanctified to their souls' eternal gence, notwithstanding he has a large happiness. We are apt to grow for- estate in the county of Christian Conmal, cold, and negligent in home tentment,

and does many acts of selfpiety (i.e., worship) during the week, denial. He wears the plain garment and then wonder how it is we have no of Humility, but has a better suit to relish for the best dish the preacher put on when he goes to Court, called may be enabled to set before us on the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. the Sabbath day. There is a secret He often walks in the valley of selflink between the preacher and the abasement, and sometimes climbs the hearer; good spiritual hearers are of mount of Spiritual mindedness. He unspeakable help to the preacher. breakfasts every morning on Spiritual We want not merely to realize one Prayer, and sups every evening upon day in seven as holy, but to observe

the same. He has meat to eat, which unto the Lord every day alike, that the world knows nothing of, and his the domestic hearth may be home in drink is the sincere milk of the word. the same senso as the house of God. Thus, happy he lives, and happy he dies. This is our earnest wish; and we Happy is he who has Gospel subwould say as did the apostle (Luke mission in his will, due order in his xvii. 5), “Lord, increase our faith," affections, sound ease in his conscience, that we may " learn first to shew sanctity, in his soul, real divinity in

his breast, true humility in his heart, the Redeemer'syoke on his neck, a vain world under his feet, and a crown of glory over his head.

Dear reader, pray fervently, believe firmly, wait patiently, work diligently, live holily, die daily, watch your heart, guard your senses, redeem your time, love Christ, and long to be with Him. Such are the happy people whose God is the Lord.

Communicated by T. S. C.

- Rose of

or the

above, and sheds its_fragrance on gardens here below. I will also remind you that this rose is not merely a single flower, it has buds growing or proceeding from it. Give me leave to name some of them; perhaps it will lead you to examine it more minutely, and prize it more highly. The first that I shall name is, Divine purpose, and a very precious bud this is; it grows out of the side of the Rose, just where it was once pierced with a spear.

It is very full, and, when blown, it yields the sweetest fragrance that a poor guilty sinner can inhale in this world. Examine this rose a little further, and you will discover under that green leaf Divine purpose, twin buds. I think they are known by the names of justification and sanctification. Take care that neither of them are broken off, for neither of them will grow alone, nor will they both live if severed from the Rose; but by virtue of the sap they receive from it, they send forth the most efficacious medicine, and odoriferous perfume in the garden of the Lord. I shall mention but one more of the many buds which grow this Rose, and that is consolation, which has a very short stalk, therefore you must get very near the rose itself to possess this bud, and then you will find it very solid and satisfactory; and such are its virtues, that it has kept many a weary traveller from fainting, and even restored them when they have fainted. Now when these buds are all full blown, they will produce the unparalleled flower, called glory; and blow they must, because the root on which they grow can never die; its fibres have penetrated deep as eternity, and its never-failing sap shall flow to every bud, until, overflowing with immortal bloom, heaven shall be ornamented with its brilliant colours, and you and I partake of its choicest odour in the pure atmosphere of paradise. In the prospect of that day, I present you with this Rose, praying that you may often be refreshed by it. Yours, in Gospel bonds, (MEMOIRS, page 47.);

FROM SAINT TO SAINT.

No. 11. From the late Joseph Irons to a friend.

Sawston, June 22nd, 1813. MY DEAR FRIEND,-I was impressed with the pleasure you expressed at obtaining a rose from my old garden : allow me to present you with a far superior one,

even the Sharon,” the beauty of which excels all the flowers of the garden, Justly is it admired, both in heaven and earth, for its beauty, being brightness of His Father's glory.' Gaze upon every leaf of this rose, namely, the offices of Christ, and the longer you look upon it the more beautiful it will appear. I trust it is the chief ornament of the garden of your heart, and that its sacred fragrance often refreshes your mind. Let me advise you to wear it in your bosom; you need not fear its fading, for every leaf is immutable, and its beauteous hue can never change. It will often refresh your spirit as you travel across this desert; and such are its healing qualities, that it is the best cure for all spiritual maladies, and the only remedy for declines. Moreover, you may grasp this Rose with the the greatest safety, for there are no thorns about it; once, indeed, it was covered with thorns, and its form much marred thereby; but when they had pierced avenues through which its holy fragrance was emitted, they were shaken from His sacred brow with Godlike Majesty and left on Calvary's hill. The thornless rose now blooms in immortal vigour in the paradise

on

EARLY WITNESSES FOR THE

SUFFOLK.

(Continued from Vol. xviii, p, 264.)

THE witness borne by Christ's faithful martyrs, in their sufferings and death for His sake and the truth's sake, has very frequently been blessed by the Spirit of God to beholders, in convincing them of the divine nature of the cause for which the sufferers endured, and in turning them from the service of sin and Satan unto God. So much has this been the case, that the well-known saying has arisen, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." And in no case has this saying been more fully verified than in this England of ours; and in no parts of the country more so than in the eastern counties. A writer in an old work, entitled, “ Magna Brittannia, Vol. v., Ed. 1730," says, respecting Suffolk, that "No county affords more martyrs for, and confessors of, the doctrines of Wickliffe than this county;" and then proceeds to give a list of the names of these sufferers. That being so, we have only to examine the subsequent history of the county to become assured of the truthfulness of the sentiment just advanced, and the saying just quoted ; for in no other county has there been a larger number of faithful followers of the Lamb of God, compared with the whole population, than in this. May it always be so! May the present generation of believers hold fast their profession; and may the number of true believers continually be multiplied, and increase therein to the end of time.

We propose in the present paper to make use of the old writer just referred to, and to give an abstract of his statement respecting these early confessors of the faith in the county of Suffolk. This will take us back to the reign of Mary, and some years previous, and be a departure from the order at first proposed to be adopted in these papers, occasioning us to leaye Mr. Brown's

book for a while; but the subject is felt to be very interesting, and, as additional information from other quarters respecting it has come to hand since the papers were commenced, it seems desirable to make use of it.

Omitting two or three names, to which prominence has already been given in our first papers, we come to Robert Debnam, of East Bergholt, who, with others, out of a pious zeal for God's worship, took a crucifix out of a chapel at Dovercourt, where it had abundance of superstitious people adoring it, and burnt it in a field a quarter of a mile distant from the town. For this he was hung in chains as a felon.

This, however, adds our writer, “ did not discourage other good men to imitate them in destroying idols, and gives instances of this being done at Sudbury, Ipswich, and Stoke Park.

Nicholas Pike, of Earl Stonham, was burnt at Ipswich : date not given. His crime was, that he could not believe that the bread and wine, after the speaking of a few words over them, became the flesh, blood, and bones of Christ.

One Potterdew, a Suffolk man, but the place not known, for ridiculing the conduct of the priest in withholding the cup from the people, was immediately apprehended, and, shortly after, burnt.

William Payton, of Aye (? Eye,) in this county, was burnt at Norwich, for speaking against a certain idol, which was accustomed to be carried about in procession at Aye, and much reverenced by the people; also for holding that the Lord's Supper ought to be administered in both kinds.

Of Kerby and Roger Clarke, of Mendesham, who were burnt-the one at Ipswich, and the other at Bury-in 1546, our writer says, that Kerby resolutely persisted in his disavowal of the Romish doctrine, and was burnt in the presence of some thousands of spectators-many weeping for him, and as many praising God for his great constancy. Respecting Clarke, he says that, on the way to the place of

« ElőzőTovább »